Armstrong Flooring Inc. will lay off 606 people employed at three facilities in Lancaster, Pa., where the company is based, effective June 17 if it doesn't find a buyer.
Late last week, the company filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice to alert the state Department of Labor & Industry that a mass layoff is possible within 60 days.
With rising costs and debts of $317.8 million, officials of the company and certain subsidiaries filed for voluntary protection under Chapter 11 on May 9 with hopes to sell the entire business or its core assets as soon as possible.
The local media outlet, Lancaster Online, obtained a message about the layoffs to employees from Armstrong Flooring Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer John C. Bassett.
"While we remain committed to successfully completing our sale process, it is possible that we may be unable to identify a buyer that will both address the company's debt and also allow us to continue to operate as a going concern," Bassett told employees. "If we are unable to find such a buyer, we would be forced to shut down some or all of our operations.
"Under these circumstances, our legal obligations require us to provide notice that there may be total closures of company facilities commencing June 17. … We would expect such closures to be permanent and for all company facilities to close."
If plant closures occur, employees will lose their jobs on June 17 or within 14 days of that.
Founded in 1860 as a cork-cutting shop, the company started making linoleum in 1909 and grew into one of North America's largest producers of resilient flooring products for residential and commercial applications.
Armstrong has U.S. plants in Lancaster and Beech Creek, Pa.; Kankakee, Ill.; Jackson, Miss.; and Stillwater, Okla.; and overseas plants in Wujiang, China, and Victoria, Australia.
The company said it could no longer offset higher costs for supplies and transportation with higher prices for flooring products like vinyl sheet, plank and tile, according to Armstrong's bankruptcy filing.
The plants in China and Australia are not included in the Chapter 11 filing, but they are part of the sale process, which began in December 2021.