Following a big sales drop due to the pandemic and the loss of three customers, Milwaukee-based injection molder Pereles Bros. Inc. will cease operations in October and has begun the process of laying off 49 employees.
Founded in 1925 by Al and Joe Pereles, the company serves a wide range of markets, including foodservice, automotive aftermarket, power tools, and lawn and garden, from a 47,000-square-foot facility equipped with more than two-dozen presses from 28-725 tons.
Pereles Bros. had changed hands several times later in its 95 years of operation, first to Beatrice Foods in 1970 and most recently to partners Steve Iram and Jim Gannon in 2013. The business had 80 employees then, and Iram, who is company president, said the partners saw an opportunity to grow the business over the next 10-20 years.
However, no one could plan for all the pandemic-related issues of 2020.
Iram notified the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development that 41 hourly employees represented by Teamsters Local Union No. 200 and eight salaried staff will lose their jobs by early October.
"This closure has been the result of significant losses of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic and three of our major customers off-shoring work to Mexico and China," Iram told state officials in an Aug. 13 letter.
All employees will be paid all earned wages, he added. The pink-slipped workers include 28 machine operators, five setup technicians and four managers.
Iram couldn't be reached by phone or email for further comment.
Pereles Bros. had estimated sales of $10 million in 2015, when it was last ranked by Plastics News.