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December 21, 2011

A group seeking reform of state business subsidies called for the end of a Rochester company’s tax abatements Tuesday because it plans to close a Tonawanda warehouse and move the jobs.

Representatives from the Getting Our Money’s Worth coalition attended the County of Monroe Industrial Development board meeting, demanding it revoke the tax subsidy given to VWR

Education/Ward’s Natural Sciences because it says the company is consolidating and downsizing, not expanding. The group said VWR is engaging job shifting within a region instead of fulfilling the subsidy’s purpose of new job creation.

Neither VWR nor the IDA returned calls seeking comments Tuesday.

VWR owns Science Kit and Borreal Laboratories, a Town of Tonawanda manufacturer of demonstration kits and games for science teachers, and it announced in October its plans to consolidate its local warehouse operations in Henrietta, laying off 40 people. The coalition claims only 7 people will be hired during the expansion of the Henrietta location.

The coalition, which includes the Buffalo-based Coalition for Economic Justice and the Teamsters Union, claims the IDA did not properly scrutinize VWR’s application.

The Tonawanda operation, which is located on East Park Drive, employs about 110, including 70 office workers. VWR’s office will remain open.

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