Wacker Neuson Corp. notified state officials last week that it plans to make the temporary layoff of 186 employees at its Menomonee Falls facility permanent.
The German light and compact equipment manufacturer makes rollers, pumps, generators, skid steer loaders and trowels for concrete surfacing in Menomonee Falls.
A total of 63 employees at the facility were put on temporary layoff on March 23 as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. Another 115 employees were laid off April 6 with two others laid off in May and July.
“The company expected these layoffs to be temporary and to last less than six months, but unfortunately … unforeseen business circumstances have now rendered them permanent layoffs,” the company wrote in a notice to state officials.
Wacker Neuson plans to layoff another six employees at the facility by Oct. 6.
The company said it was unable to provide more notice of the layoffs “because of how quickly and unexpectedly our operations were affected by the unanticipated expansive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
More than 140 of those laid off in Menomonee Falls are represented by the United Steelworkers union
Wacker Neuson reported a 38% drop in revenue from its Americas region during the first half of the year, attributing the decline to “an extremely cautious approach to investments” from its key accounts, including rental companies.
“The U.S. continues to experience very high infection rates. As such, uncertainty regarding the future of the pandemic there remains particularly high,” the company said in a press release.
More than half of those laid off in Menomonee Falls were assemblers or worked in assembly lead roles. Another 28 worked in material handling roles.
A range of other positions were also affected by the layoffs including sales, buyers, CNC specialists, engineers, project managers and tool makers.