Walter USA laying off 39 in Pewaukee

Company will end special and inch tool production

Walter USA LLC plans to shut down its special and inch tool production at its City of Pewaukee facility, according to a notice sent to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

The shutdown is expected to result in the elimination of 39 full-time positions at the company’s facility, located at N22 W23855 RidgeView Parkway West. The company plans to begin layoffs on Feb. 10.

Hourly employees in the production operation are represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District Lodge No. 10. Union officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Muff Tanriverdi, Walter regional president, said in an email the closure of the special tools unity would be complete by the end of March and production would be shifted to larger production units around the world. He noted worldwide logistics allowed for fast and reliable sourcing opportunities with increased globalization.

“With this reality, lower volume plants can be consolidated into larger facilities with advanced technology,” Tanriverdi said. “This allows Walter to re-adjust and optimize its production capacities and thus safeguard its competitiveness.”

He said the closure was unfortunate, but macro trends towards standardization instead of specialized make it hard for the company to justify the cost of continued production.

Walter USA currently has about 200 employees at its Pewaukee location. Tanriverdi said the facility would continue to have sales, engineering and other functions at the location and the U.S. market remains of “strategic importance” to the company.

The Waukesha-Ozaukee-Washington Workforce Development Area Rapid Response team will offer services to the company, employee representatives and affected workers.

Walter is headquartered in Germany. The company acquired Waukesha Cutting Tools in 1999 and made the company into its U.S. headquarters. The company, which designs and manufacturers tools for cutting, boring and turning, moved from Waukesha to the City of Pewaukee in 2006.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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