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United Radio to drop unprofitable work, 30 employees may be affected

By Charles McChesney

Date:

DeWITT, N.Y. — United Radio has notified 30 workers their positions are being eliminated in seven weeks as the company moves away from unprofitable lines, President Phil Rubenstein says.

When the workers were notified of the changes, they were given an application to transfer to one of the available positions in the company. Right now, United Radio has 20 open spots, Rubenstein says.

“I hope we get to the end of March and nobody is affected,” Rubenstein says.

He says that some 15 companies that turn to United Radio for customer support or repair work aren’t profitable. “They recognize that we provide them with the highest level of service,” he says, “they just aren’t always willing to pay.”

The planned changes include the elimination of the department that provides in-home repair on televisions and appliances. United Radio has six employees in that department, Rubenstein says.

Rubenstein adds that the changes are in line with what United Radio has been doing since his grandfather founded the business 95 years ago. “My grandfather recognized that for an endeavor to be successful, it must be beneficial to both sides.”

He adds that United Radio hasn’t closed the door on any of the companies. “We’re still in conversations with some of them.”

Rubenstein says the changes will not affect the company’s announced plans for expansion. In January, the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency (OCIDA) board approved tax abatements that could save United Radio $247,520 in mortgage, sales and property taxes on expansion at 5717 Enterprise Parkway, next to its current building at 5703 Enterprise Parkway. OCIDA documents show the economic benefits from the expansion would top $22 million, including more than $12 million in wages and nearly $2.5 million in employee benefits.

However, Rubenstein, stresses that other contingencies still need to be met for the expansion to go forward.

Contact McChesney at cmcchesney@cnybj.com

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