Rockwell plans cutbacks, including local layoffs

Rockwell Automation Inc., the Milwaukee-based industrial automation and information solutions provider, announced Friday that it would make cutbacks in its global work force.

Rockwell is closing one of its manufacturing facilities in Cambridge, Ontario. Work will be transferred to another plant in that city.

A company spokesman said that some jobs in Milwaukee will be eliminated, but would not say how many. He would also not give a number for total layoffs.

Rockwell Automation has about 21,000 employees around the world. More than half of those employees are outside of North America.

“It’s a global slowdown in manufacturing and capital investment that has really forced us to scale back our revenue projections,” said Keith Lester, a Rockwell spokesman.

Employees that are laid off will be offered severance pay and outplacement services, Lester said.

Like many companies, Rockwell has seen declining revenues recently. In early February, the company reported $1.18 billion in first quarter 2009 earnings, an 11 percent decline from the first quarter of 2008. Fiscal first quarter income was 81 cents per share, down from $1.04 per share in the first quarter of 2008.

“We expect the market environment in 2009 to be very difficult,” Keith Nosbusch, chairman and chief executive officer said at the time. “The global recession has grown deeper and wider than we originally anticipated. Key economic indicators and projections continue to weaken and we are seeing a significant deceleration in customer demand.”


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