DOWAGIAC, Mich. - Residential furniture and casegoods manufacturer Ameriwood has permanently laid off 79 employees because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“This reduction is a result of a significant downturn in our business and has become immediately necessary due to the halt in business caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the governor of Michigan’s 'Stay Home, Stay Safe' executive order, which has shut us down almost entirely," the company wrote in paperwork filed with the state April 13.
A sign in the shop's front entrance also reads: "We will be closed until the Governor says it's safe to re-open."
Of those employees, 76 are hourly production workers and three are salaried.
Woodworking is considered essential in Michigan, but with a disclaimer: The order must be construed broadly to prohibit in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life.
Ameriwood parent Dorel, the third largest residential furniture maker on the FDMC 300, will repurpose the Ameriwood facility into a Midwest distribution and warehouse location.
Dorel runs multiple divisions, including Altra, Ameriwood, Cosco Home & Office, Dorel Asia, Dorel Home Products, Ridgewood, Carina, and SystemBuild. The company's annual sales were around $795 million in 2018. It runs five manufacturing plants throughout North America.

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