Best Access Systems Slices 15% of Its Work Force


Almost two weeks after being bought by the Stanley Works, doorlock maker Best Access Systems sliced 240 jobs, or about 15 percent of its work force.

The job cuts by the company apparently included many white-collar positions deemed unneeded by New Britain, Conn.-based Stanley Works, which is merging its lock business into Best’s. “This action was necessary to accelerate the process of integrating the operations and to position the business for a strong start in 2003,” Justin Boswell, president of the combined Best Access Systems and Stanley Works lock businesses, said in a statement.

Stanley spokeswoman Jennifer Almeida-House said further information about the job cuts would be released Dec. 11, including a breakdown of how many jobs were eliminated at the main offices and manufacturing operations in Indianapolis, according to Knight Ridder news service. The company has numerous sales offices across the country.

At the time the deal was first announced in October, Best officials said it was possible that the purchase would lead to more jobs locally, and the city expressed interest in discussing economic development opportunities with Stanley.

Affected workers, many of them veteran employees, were told of the job cuts as they arrived at work, quickly briefed about their ongoing benefits and severance pay, and escorted from the building to their cars, Knight Ridder reports.

It was the third major layoff at Best since 2001 and leaves it with about 1,300 employees. Until 2001, the 79-year-old company had never laid off employees for economic reasons, according to Knight Ridder.

The layoffs represent 10 percent of the combined work force of the Best and Stanley security access control businesses, the company said. Seven field office locations also were consolidated, the company said.

With $250 million in annual sales, Best has felt the impact of the business slowdown since 2001.

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