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Puerto Rico Mountain Town Forced to Dismiss 200 Workers in Largest Such Layoff

SAN JUAN — A small mountain town in central Puerto Rico whose economy depended heavily on manufacturing announced today it will dismiss 200 employees in the largest layoff of its kind in the U.S. commonwealth in more than a decade.

Cidra spokeswoman Eunice Castro said that it is necessary to lay off 35 percent of workers because the town of 40,000 people is running out of money after the closure of a PepsiCo manufacturing plant in February, which itself cost 200 jobs.

The soft drink company generated some $7.5 million a year and represented 40 percent of Cidra’s budget. As a result of the plant closure, the town budget will shrink from $18.6 million to $11.1 million in the upcoming fiscal year, with $10.5 million alone needed for employee salaries, Castro said.

“None of this adds up,” she said. “It’s not possible.”

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands since 1989. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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