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TMCNet:  Layoffs planned at Travelers: Insurance company to cut 325 jobs, including some in Warren County

[April 16, 2008]

Layoffs planned at Travelers: Insurance company to cut 325 jobs, including some in Warren County

(Times Union (Albany, NY) (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Apr. 16--GLENS FALLS -- The Travelers Cos. office in Warren County is one of four being hit by layoffs as the insurance company consolidates operations amid declining profit margins.

Travelers, a St. Paul, Minn.-based insurer of homes, cars and businesses, is cutting 325 jobs across four offices and states: Queensbury/Glens Falls; Marlton, N.J.; Fall River, Mass.; and Houston, said spokeswoman Sheila Trauernicht.

Details about specific cuts in the Queensbury/Glens Falls office were not available Tuesday.

But the Hartford Courant newspaper reported that the company also will consolidate work from Fall River to Syracuse, and from Marlton to Glens Falls. That consolidation and other changes will result in about 100 new jobs in New York, Texas and Tennessee, the paper said.

The trade publication Insurance Journal said Tuesday the new jobs will be found in Syracuse, Houston and Knoxville when the consolidation plan is completed.

Trauernicht said the layoffs are in the business that covers individuals' homes and cars.

Travelers joins Allstate Corp. and Zurich Financial Services AG in eliminating jobs.

Allstate, the largest publicly traded U.S. home and auto insurer, said last week it was cutting 109 information technology positions in Northbrook, Ill., where the company is based. Zurich, based in the Swiss city of the same name, is eliminating about 400 positions in the unit that sells commercial coverage in North America.

The Travelers cuts were made "to maintain a competitive structure" and will take effect by June, Trauernicht said.

The insurer will shut its so-called business centers in Marlton and Fall River, but continue to employ 80 people in the New Jersey office and 365 people in the Massachusetts office in jobs including sales, marketing, finance and technology, she said.

The company employs about 33,000 workers overall.

In February, Travelers signed a 10-year deal to take space in downtown Glens Falls in what's known as the CNA building on Glen Street. CNA Insurance Co. once occupied the 10-story structure, the tallest in Glens Falls. It's now known as Monument Center. Travelers, housed at Northway Plaza in Queensbury, is expected to move its 150 workers downtown in July.

Merlin Development Co. of Saratoga Springs bought the building in 2005 and has been renovating it. News contributed to this story.

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