Rubbermaid Inc. has issued layoffs and a reduction in production work hours at its Winfield, Kan., plant citing less-than-desirable profit.
The company, headquartered in Wooster, Ohio, declined comment on the action, including whether the move is permanent. The plant is the company's largest blow molding facility.
A company memorandum dated Dec. 11 announced the cut to all hourly employees, blaming sales volumes that were not high enough to take advantage of improvements at the facility.
"In business terms, our profitability is not where it needs to be," stated the memo. "In order to secure the future of this facility, we must take the following actions."
Although official numbers were not released, the Winfield Daily Courier estimated the number of cuts at 200, said George McCune, Cowley County Economic Development Agency director.
"The loss of 200 jobs is regrettable," he said. "But we take the approach that it's temporary."
People are finding jobs in other plastics companies in the area, he said, and Rubbermaid also may rehire a portion.
"Rubbermaid is still up and running and they've invested a tremendous amount of money here," he said.
According to information from the Kansas Department of Commerce & Housing, the plant reported total employment of 804 in June.
Although temporary layoffs are typical for the facility this time of year, the Dec. 11 memo was not marked as such. The company did issue a temporary layoff Nov. 9.
In its filing of third-quarter 2000 results, parent Newell Rubbermaid Inc. reported sales just under $5 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, with $1.2 million in sales for its plastics storage division. That figure was down slightly from $1.3 million for the same period in 1999.