Hundreds face layoffs from Flexsteel plant closure

An aerial view of Flexsteel's Dublin, Georgia, factory that is closing, and will be put up for sale.

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DUBLIN, Ga. — On Feb. 9, 154 Flexsteel employees at the Dublin, Georgia, furniture factory were laid off. Likely permanently. The fate of another estimated 180 workers might be sealed at the end of the company's fiscal fourth quarter later this year. 

Flexsteel, the Dubuque, Iowa-based company has filed a WARN notice with the Georgia Department of Labor notice advising that 154 employees will be out of a job as of the Feb. 9 date. 

Local news station, WMAZ, citing Laurens County Development Authority, reported that Flexsteel employs roughly 330 people in the county.

The FDMC 300 listed company, ranking #28, said that they'll be closing their Dublin plant by the end of the company's 4th quarter in an effort "to optimize its North American manufacturing network."

The announcement was made as they reported second-quarter financial results. The company reported net sales of $100.1 million for the second quarter compared to net sales of $93.1 million in the prior year's quarter, an increase of $7.0 million, or 7.5%. 

Flexsteel estimates that closing the facility will save the company $4 million to $4.5 million each year. The company has allocated between $2.5 million to $3.2 million for employee separations, along with around $500,000 to $700,000 in other expenses. 

Then, the company's plant at 701 Industrial Blvd in Dublin will go up for sale. WMAZ reported that Flexsteel's plant is valued at $4.4 million and the company also owns a $232,000 warehouse.

Dublin, Georgia,  Mayor Joshua Kight expressed his frustration in a statement following receiving the news.

"Yesterday afternoon (Feb. 6), I received a letter from Flexsteel's corporate headquarters confirming that they are closing their Dublin plant," said Kight. "Flexsteel has been an important part of our community for over forty years. Our local workers have helped lead the company to increasing profits and sales, so it's especially frustrating and disappointing that the company's board would close the plant on such short notice."

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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).