More Layoffs at GIA

The Gemological Institute of America on Wednesday laid off 9 percent of its staff—just two months after laying off 11 percent of its workforce.

The cuts mostly impact GIA’s domestic operations, and will affect 71 employees in Carlsbad, and 32 in New York.

“The global economic crisis has deepened and it has keenly impacted our industry,” said spokeswoman Laura Simanton. “Regrettably, further steps were necessary.”

GIA is also freezing its pension plan, and cutting the salaries of management staff by up to 20 percent. In addition, hourly staff is losing up to 20 percent of their work day hours.

“This impacted everyone at GIA, through loss of salary, or hours, or through their pension plan,” Simanton said. “The intent of this is to be temporary—we would love nothing more than to recall staff, and reinstate salaries and hours, although obviously we can’t make any promises.”

The laid-off employees are on paid administrative leave until April 19. They will also receive severance of a minimum of two weeks, plus an additional week for every completed year of service, as well as job counseling.

In December, GIA laid off 11 percent of its workforce with GIA management taking up a 10 percent reduction in pay. At the time, the Institute cited the recession and liquidity crises as the reasons for the reductions.