Major ladder and accessories producer Werner Co. will begin laying off workers Nov. 13 at its Franklin Park, Ill., factory.
The Greenville firm is restructuring under Chapter 11 protection of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. It voluntarily filed a petition for reorganization June 12.
Werner informed the state of Illinois that it will lay off 230 workers but did not provide a reason. A spokesman said officials would not comment on the cutback.
The firm makes ladders using pultruded, thermoset-impregnated glass fiber and metals; and ladder accessories. Among its suppliers is injection molder Venture Plastics Inc. of Newton Falls, Ohio. In addition to Greenville and Franklin Park, Werner runs plants in Carrollton, Ky., Merced, Calif., and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
Werner said when it filed for Chapter 11 protection that it plans to become a low-cost producer of ladders and other climbing products.
``The strategic repositioning of Werner is well under way,'' President and Chief Executive Officer Steven Richman said in a news release. ``In the past few years, we have moved significant production to Mexico and China in an effort to become the low-cost provider of climbing products.''
Richman blamed Werner's troubles on debt and strong prices for aluminum and other raw materials. In restructuring, the firm plans to reduce debt and implement a more favorable capital structure.