A year after the two venerable local printers merged, the company announced that it will sell Edwards Brothers' sixteen-acre State St. property and consolidate operations at Malloy's plant on Jackson Rd. The news startled and excited the local real estate community. The company's hundreds of employees were more than astounded; they were apprehensive.
There were fewer than a dozen layoffs as a result of the merger last year, but the consolidation will cost forty-seven additional jobs, with more to come. The cuts have shaken both managers and press operators. Of the combined firm's 600 local employees, 150 have put in twenty-five years or more, and some are more than sixty years old. "For a lot of people this is home," CEO John Edwards says. "I remember when they had kids and their kids had kids."
Both Edwards and director of operations Bill Upton, former CEO of Malloy, say that at the time of the merger they had never anticipated such a drastic retrenchment. But orders for what had once been their primary business--offset printing runs of 3,000 or more copies--continue to decline.