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Longaberger warns of nearly 1,000 layoffs

The Longaberger Company said Tuesday it is notifying 970 workers that they might be laid off in September if sales don't increase.

Privately held Longaberger says sales have been lower than expected for more than a year. Company spokeswoman Bonny Fowler says there are almost certain to be some layoffs, although the number isn't clear.

People affected would be basket makers and workers who support them.

The company currently employs nearly 5,400 people.

Fowler declined to say how much of a sales increase is needed to avoid or minimize the cuts.

The company is preparing for its annual sales meeting and training event, which Fowler says is expected to draw about 12,000 people to Columbus in late July and early August.

Mike Thompson spends much of his time correcting people who mispronounce the name of his hometown – Worcester, Massachusetts. Mike studied broadcast journalism at Syracuse University when he was not running in circles – as a distance runner on the SU track team.