Economic downturn sparks layoffs among Wisconsin’s manufacturers

Several manufacturers expect significant layoffs before Christmas or early next year.

Several manufacturers with Wisconsin operations have announced layoffs to the state Department of Workforce Development – with a total of 382 workers to be laid off.

  • Tecumseh, Mich.-based Tecumseh Power Co. expects to shutter its facilities in Grafton and New Holstein, permanently laying off 70 and 20 employees in each location between mid December and early July 2009. The company’s warehouse workers will lose their jobs by the end of April, 2009, while its salaried workers may stay on until the end of May, the company’s filing with the DWD states.

    Tecumseh is a global manufacturer of engines and transmissions for lawn and garden, industrial and agricultural applications. Repeated calls to the company’s Grafton and New Holstein facilities were unanswered.

  • The Marinette Marine Co. in Marinette is laying off 137 workers, largely because the company’s business has slowed in recent months and it did not win a contract to build a cutter ship for the U.S. Coast Guard. In late September, the company laid off 89 workers, also because of work slowdowns.

  • General Motors told the state it will lay off another 92 workers from its Janesville plant by Dec. 23 because of the continuing fall in demand for trucks and sport utility vehicles manufactured there. The layoffs are part of the elimination of 1,200 workers, as GM closes the Janesville assembly facility.

    GM’s closure in Janesville has already created a domino effect, with three suppliers to the plant announcing they too will close their doors and eliminate jobs.

    Logistics Services Inc. (LSI) told the DWD last week it will close its Janesville plant and lay off 159 workers. Flint Special Services Inc. also said it will close its Janesville plant and lay off 28 workers. Both companies provide materials for the GM assembly line in Janesville.

    Almost two weeks ago, Lear Corp. notified the state agency that it will eliminate 371 jobs, beginning Dec. 23. Lear supplies interiors and seating systems to the GM plant.

  • Wick Building Systems Inc., also told the DWD that it will lay off 63 employees around Dec. 24. The company said the layoffs are due to its business slowing, and the company is resizing itself accordingly.

  • On Friday, Woodbridge Corp. announced that it would lay off about 70 workers at its Brodhead facility, where it makes seating and interior trim components for the automotive market.

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