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Two companies warn of layoffs in Baltimore County

Unemployment and LayoffsJob LayoffsDiageo PlcJohnnie Walker

Two companies have warned state regulators that they're planning layoffs in Baltimore County.

Beverage manufacturer Diageo told the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation this week that it would eliminate 34 jobs at its facility on Washington Boulevard in Relay between late April and early May, with an undisclosed number of cuts to come in later phases through July.

It's the second layoff warning in less than a year from the London-based company, which makes alcoholic drinks such as Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff. It earlier told the state that it would be shutting down its special-products building at the same facility last August, laying off 55 workers. But the new cuts are part of facility improvements.

"Diageo will invest $50 million in the Relay facility to install new high speed bottling lines and upgrade key production areas," spokeswoman Brooke Lawer said in a statement Tuesday. "While the investments will help support Relay's long term sustainability and continued contributions to the community, the new equipment and processes will require fewer people to operate the facility. We are in ongoing discussions with union representatives and other stakeholders relating to the specific details."

Separately, DocuLynx warned the state that it will be closing its White Marsh location in July, laying off 19 employees. The document-management company, which also could not be reached for comment, is based in Omaha, Neb.

jhopkins@baltsun.com

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