The rumors have become fact as the sale of Bausch & Lomb to Valeant closed Tuesday. Immediately 200 Rochester workers lost their jobs, with the option of leaving immediately or working til the end of the week. Those who work through Friday are more dedicated than I would be. The severance plan laid out by the new owners pays employees for 90 days, then they receive a week of pay for every year employed at the company that gave Tom Cruise his Ray Bans in "Risky Business" and his aviator shades in "Top Gun". More layoffs are coming as up to 15% of the local work force will lose their jobs, most at the soon-to-be former headquarters pictured in the center of downtown above. That building will be sold as Valeant moves corporate HQs to New Jersey.
What a sad way for a company to be gobbled up by a foreign conglomerate with no allegiance to our city. Many great people with special skills and abilities will suddenly be part of an already too large unemployed base. I experienced something similar about 6 years ago just before the holidays. After 20 years at one place, another company took over and I fell victim to the numbers game that many are feeling today at B&L. All I can say is that it worked out well for me in the long run. I found out who my "real" friends were, who is there for you during a difficult time and who you can count on. And you can bounce back and go onto something just as fulfilling in life as well as your career. I wish the best to all the people and families affected during this difficult stretch. Try to remain positive, count on those around you for support and, as difficult as it can be, try to enjoy some time off with your loved ones as you prepare to re-emerge stronger and better. With a positive approach and effort, it will happen. Trust me, I know the feeling and am an example of how there is life after dedicating yourself to one work place for decades. God bless all at B&L and God bless our troops.