GT Advanced to Cut 700 More Jobs at Arizona Plant

Oct 17, 2014 07:30 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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Sapphire maker GT Advanced Technologies announced on Thursday that it will be eliminating more than 700 jobs at its plant in Mesa, Arizona.

The mass layoffs is scheduled for competition by Dec. 15, according to AZ Central.

GT Advanced, which reached a mega $578 million deal to provide Apple with sapphire material, announced plans to cut back 727 jobs in a filing with the Mesa City Council earlier this week.

"Only if GT winds down these operations will it be able to stop its mounting losses and re-focus its resources on the operation of its core business of selling sapphire furnaces and other products," the company said, according to Reuters.

At least 524 production line workers, 108 technical jobs, 70 managers and 25 administrative positions will be liquidated by December, according to GT's VP of human resources Linda Luman, who signed off on the filing.

Those who will be let go were notified of the situation on Thursday, and layoffs are expected to begin on Oct. 21, according to AZ Central.

GT Advanced said on Oct. 10 that it was burning through $1 million a day at the operations it intended to close.

"GT believes that it has many claims against Apple arising out of its business relationship with Apple," the company said in a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manchester, New Hampshire, according to Reuters.

GT Advanced filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Oct. 6, according to Reuters. The filing wiped out 90 percent of the sapphire supplier's market value.

Apple came to an agreement with GT to build out a state-of-the-art sapphire production facility in Mesa, Arizona, last November. Apple reportedly paid four out of five advances, but withheld a final $139 million payment due in October for unknown reasons.

It isn't clear what the company plans to do if GT closes the site.

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