Protesters target Amherst company over job cuts

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AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – Around two dozen people protested outside the PHH headquarters in Amherst on Thursday.

The company received $4.5 million in tax breaks in 2012 with the promise of adding 400 jobs. But now, PHH is planning to cut 135 jobs while holding onto those tax breaks.

Jennifer Diagostino, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Justice, said, “We’re asking them to not fire the 135 workers, to keep the promises they made to the IDA. Four-and-a-half million dollars is an awful lot of money, so if they can’t keep their promises, they should give it back.”

But according to the company’s vice president of corporate communications, that’s not the whole story. Dico Akseraylian released this statement on behalf of PHH

“Contrary to the allegations made by the Coalition for Economic Justice, we have invested approximately $6.5 million in our current operations in Amherst and in return have received approximately $400,000 in tax savings, not $4.5 million. While the mortgage industry has seen loan origination volumes decline by over 40 percent since the second quarter of 2013 and cut approximately 36,000 jobs in the past year, we remain committed to maintaining a mortgage operation in Amherst.”

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