Am I Next? Dematic, Moving to Mexico, Plant Closure, Layoffs

After claiming they have satisfied the initial terms and conditions of a job-related Michigan tax break, Dematic, a makers of automated machinery for industrial applications, appears to be continuing their planned layoffs and a transition to a production facility based in Monterrey, Mexico. In a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice) filed with the State of Michigan, the company announced its intentions to lay off another 60 production workers, most in manufacturing and many represented by the United Auto Workers union, in the firsts months of 2018. 

At risk are additional number of workers that might be affected by the transition as Dematic has told the union that their Grand Rapids manufacturing facility will be substantially closed by mid-2018 and completely shut down by the end of 2018. 

As we have seen before, problems can arise from union contracts which do not well represent the realities between loss of business, increasing competition, global logistics, wages, benefits, and the necessity of increasing production while lowering costs. Looking at the type of workers scheduled for layoff, (welders, mechanics, electronics technicians, machine operators) is consistent with the decline in manufacturing jobs within the United States. 

Safe for the time being are the administrative and engineering staff in similarly located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. According to a company spokesperson, “This move will help to further increase our global competitiveness and secure highly-skilled engineering jobs based in Grand Rapids.” 

To be noted, this is the type of industrial operation that changes ownership as the global poohbahs play Monopoly with real companies and real money. According to UAW local President Scott Wahlfeldt, “in 1980, the company was acquired by Lear Siegler Corporation and exchanged hands four times until 2006, when it was acquired by Triton, a private equity firm from Siemens. It was sold to KION, a German maker of forklift trucks and automated material handling equipment for $2.1 billion in 2016. 

Am I Next? Dematic - Mexico

Translation: Welcome to Dematic Mexico ...

"Dematic designs, develops and delivers solutions that optimize your supply chain, improve productivity and increase the performance of your system in your manufacturing area and within the four walls of your warehouse or distribution center, in addition to providing support and technical assistance throughout the life cycle of its logistics solutions."

Are you asking yourself, Am I Next?


Am I Next? Union Metal - Plant Closing - Layoffs

Union Metal, one of America’s premier street lighting pole manufacturers since their founding 1906, will be closing its Canton, Ohio plant and laying off 339 employees.  

Like many manufacturing companies, Union Metal has fallen on hard times. They have a backlog of work, but appear to be unable to pay their bills; resulting in at least one lawsuit filed by Tennessee Galvanizing, in Jasper, Tennesee for non-payment of past due accounts. 

The company has had a history of investors who have attempted to turn the company into a profitable enterprise but have encountered various obstacles along the way. It appears that the absentee owners/investors have heavily mortgaged the company's assets and concession negotiations have been abandoned since the closure notice. 
A number of well-known Canton manufacturing companies have either shuttered their operations or have relocated over the years. 

Like many companies, it appears the Union Metal has been targeted by predatory attorneys looking for easy settlements and large paydays ... "Did you work at Union Metal in Canton, Ohio? Have you developed mesothelioma, lung cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer or another asbestos cancer? Contact us today for a FREE, no-obligation consultation: 1-800-XXXXXX."


Am I Next? Layoffs at Quad Graphics. Plant Closing

Quad Graphics has announced that they will be laying off 200 people when their Taunton facility is shuttered in early 2018. With the explosion of internet marketing, electronic forms, and e-books, the traditional book, catalog, and retail advertising printers are struggling mightily. Top tier printers have gone so far as to separate business functions into new entities to capture any rise in Wall Street valuations.

Quad Graphic’s happy talk continues as evidenced by this blurb accompanying their Third Quarter earnings announcement.

“Our third quarter results were in-line with our expectations, reflecting the continued great work our team is doing to sustainably reduce costs, win profitable new work and expand relationships with existing clients,” said Joel Quadracci, Chairman, President & CEO of Quad/Graphics. “Through our consistent, disciplined approach to managing all aspects of our business, we remain the industry’s high-quality, low-cost producer. Our sales momentum, which includes securing exclusive multi-year, multi-million-dollar contracts with premier publishers, retailers and marketers, will fuel Quad/Graphics’ ongoing strategic transformation to expand our integrated marketing services platform, which helps brand owners improve both process efficiencies and marketing spend effectiveness. In Quad 3.0 we are transforming into a marketing services provider that helps brand owners market their products, services, and content more efficiently and effectively. This transformation creates significant value for our clients by addressing their urgent marketing needs.”

These type of layoffs reflect the normal ebb and flow of business and represent a permanent risk to employees who believe today will be the same as yesterday, and tommorow will be the same as today.