Reports indicate layoffs could be coming to 3M

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Maplewood-based 3M is in the process of possible layoffs coming to its workforce.

Details of 3M layoffs were first reported by Bloomberg News, which said a memo shared with employees in the company’s safety and industrial division mentioned a broader cost-cutting drive in response to a slowing economy.

“3M is taking decisive actions to position the company for continued growth, while also adjusting to the challenging macroeconomic environment,” a 3M spokesperson wrote to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. “As we prioritize our investments and resources, we will be adjusting on an ongoing basis the roles and responsibilities needed for future growth.”

No further details were shared by 3M about how many possible employees could be affected or what locations the possible cuts could come from.

“I think it’s not unusual for us to see a business go through this process every now and then,” said Aseem Kaul, professor of corporate responsibility at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.

Kaul mentioned that 3M has been making changes over the summer, including announcing the company is spinning off a couple of businesses, including health care.

“The next step is to restructure and how do we make businesses that are struggling a little more profitable,” Kaul said.

More than 230,000 veterans allege hearing problems from earplugs designed by a company later acquired by 3M, based on lawsuits filed across the country.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS first reported on the earplugs in question back in 2019.

On Tuesday, Federal Judge M. Casey Rodgers ordered the parties to begin mediation.

“During the many significant developments in this litigation over the past month, a clear and consistent theme has emerged — both sides are now highly motivated and committed to developing an ‘efficient, equitable, and expeditious resolution’ to the MDL and related state court cases,” wrote Judge Rodgers.

“The judge told them to come settle this case if you can,” said Joseph Daly, a professor at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law.

Daly says the legal system isn’t designed to process more than 230,000 possible plaintiffs’ cases, which is why mediation was ordered.

“A mediator’s role is first to find out what the issues are—their interests and if there’s any way to resolve the case, is there a number you can put on the table,” Daly said.

The mediation could begin in the next month, according to court documents.