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Longaberger to layoff nearly 800 workers

The Longaberger basket company now says it will lay off nearly 800 workers next month.

More than a month ago, the basketmaker warned that as many as 970 workers could lose their jobs unless sales picked up.

The company has about 54-hundred workers.

The 784 workers who will lose their jobs on September ninth work in the company's manufacturing operations.

During the course of the summer about 100 employees accepted voluntary layoffs.

A company spokeswoman says slow sales, rising health care and energy costs all contributed to the layoffs.

The company makes baskets, pottery, wrought iron and other items that it sells through 70,000 independent sales consultants.

It is based in Newark, about 30 miles east of Columbus.

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.