I think it's going to get worse before it gets better.
The economic downturn is affecting the work force at most of the larger manufacturing plants in the Bradford County through temporary furloughs, permanent layoffs or reductions in work hours. Here is how the economy is affecting the work force at some of the larger local businesses:
— In response to reduced demand for its products, the Ingersoll-Rand’s plant in Athens, which employs 253, will temporarily shut down during this holiday season, said Susan Jaramillo, a company spokesman. Specifically, the plant will be shut down from Dec. 19 to Dec. 28, and again from Dec. 31 to Jan. 4, she said.
— The Mill’s Pride plant in Athens Township has in place a number of temporary, voluntary layoffs of its employees, which began Nov. 28 and which will end Jan. 26, said Kathleen Vokes, director of communications for the plant’s parent company, Masco Corp. Attempts to find out from the company how many employees were participating in the voluntary layoff program were unsuccessful. Mill’s Pride produces cabinets for kitchens and other locations in people’s homes, Vokes said.
— At the end of November, Penndu Manufacturing Inc. laid off most of the employees at its plant in Tuscarora Township, reducing the number of employees at the plant from 25 to "about 10," said Dwylan Lefever, general manager of the company. Because business at sawmills has dropped off, "they are not purchasing capital equipment," which has reduced the demand for products made at Penndu, such as saws and conveying equipment, he said. A nationwide slump in manufacturing is also affecting Penndu, because there is not as much demand for wood pallets, he said. Consequently, pallet manufacturers are not buying as much equipment from Penndu, Lefever said.
— A total of 70 employees in two businesses in Troy Township that are owned by the Cummings family — Cummings Lumber and Barefoot Flooring — have been laid off this month as lumber sales slow, company officials said.
— At the CraftMaster Manufacturing plant in Wysox Township, which makes wood products used in home construction and remodeling, there have been temporary reductions in work hours of production workers on certain weeks in recent months, said plant CraftMaster Vice President and mill Manager Bob Andzulis. "It’s not a wholesale cutback" of hours, but does occur from time to time, he said. Also, 46 employees were laid off at the plant in March, and, in addition, a number of employees took offers of early retirement at that time, he said. Andzulis declined to say how many employees took the early retirement offers.
— Almost 200 of the 975 employees at Global Tungsten & Powders Corp. (GTP) in Towanda have elected to take voluntary furloughs, which could last a week or several weeks, company spokesman Craig Rieder said. The furloughs began in November and are scheduled to end at the end of December, he said.
— DuPont Corp. in Towanda is in the process of laying off 42 contract workers at the plant, which will leave 538 employees at the plant, company officials said.
— The newspaper industry also is affected by the downturn in the economy. At The Daily & Sunday Review, for example, a wage freeze and a hiring freeze have been imposed.
Friday, December 19, 2008
More Bradford County Layoffs
From the Towanda Daily Review: