MISHAWAKA - One of the last facilities in Indiana with the name Bayer, a company deeply rooted in the northern part of the state, is moving forward with its previously-announced closing. The Germany-based pharmaceutical and agricultural company sent a WARN letter to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development saying that it will begin layoffs on November 8 at the customer logistics service center in Mishawaka.

The company first announced in February its intentions to permanently close the office, affecting nearly 200 employees. The company said at that point it would take 18 months to complete the shutdown of the office. When the closing was announced, Bayer said the company made the decision to move away from operating a local service center.

The office is responsible for taking customer orders for Bayer's Consumer Health and Pharmaceuticals business.

Bayer says the total number of workers expected to be impacted at the site is 172, but precise terminations are not known at this point. The company says some employees were offered a chance to relocate within the company at sites in Missouri and New Jersey.

In 1978 Bayer purchased Elkhart-based Miles Laboratories Inc., a company founded in 1884. Miles Labs invented and produced Alka-Seltzer, but in 1999 Bayer announced it was closing the plant that created the pain reliever and Flintstones vitamins.
At one time, Bayer employed 3,300 people in northern Indiana.

A notification letter to the state is required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. WARN is a U.S. labor law that mandates employers with 100 or more employees to provide a 60-day warning of a plant closing or mass layoffs.