Photo By The Grants Pass Chamber of Commerce
Jasper, Ind.-based MasterBrand is expected to terminate the swing shift at its Grants Pass, Oregon, manufacturing facility at the end of this week, which according to a source could impact more than 180 workers.
A worker at the factory said the “cabinet factory today (Nov. 7) laid off the whole swing shift, [and the] last day is this Friday.”
According to the worker the announcement was made in individual departments at the same time. "There was no prior notice, however, cabinet orders have been dropping in unsustainable numbers to have two shifts," he said. "There was no Oregon Warn Notice given. Laid-off workers will be given an additional two weeks' pay upon their separation.
The worker said that only the dayshift workers and swing shift workers with seniority remain, and they have been moved to the dayshift.
Woodworking Network (WWN) has not independently confirmed this story, but Emily Small, director of public relations for MasterBrand, who did not comment directly for this report, told WWN that she was preparing a statement on the subject.
MasterBrand, which ranks #3 on the FDMC300 list, has been reorganizing its facilities and has closed plants, eliminated shifts, and shifted production over the last year.
In September, the company announced that it was closing its Lynchburg, Va., manufacturing plant, displacing 250 employees.
At the time, Small said in a statement that the company “has continued to see market conditions and consumer preferences change over the last few years. To improve operational efficiencies while addressing these market changes, we will close the Lynchburg, VA manufacturing plant ... Products manufactured in the Lynchburg facility will be produced at our other U.S. manufacturing locations.”
In mid-October, the company announced that its subsidiary, Omega Cabinetry, planned to eliminate about 100 employees at its Waterloo, Iowa, facility because of a recent downturn in demand.
The Waterloo plant normally employs about 550 people, and layoffs will be across the board. MasterBrand is encouraging workers to apply for positions at the company’s other facilities — Goshen, Ind., and Sioux Falls, S.D., being the closest — with the possibility of offering some relocation assistance.
In July, reports out of Indiana were that MasterBrand ended its night shift operations at its Jasper, Ind., location.
Company officials said the goal is to streamline production and be more competitive in attracting employees since jobs at that facility will all be day shift. Presumably, that is the preferred shift. The 70 employees impacted are being offered jobs on the day shift or at its Ferdinand, Ind., location.
In April, MasterBrand’s parent company, Fortune Brands, announced that it planned to split the company into two publicly traded businesses. The cabinet side of Fortune Brands will be formed into its own company, taking on the MasterBrand name, and a second company will run the home and security businesses.
That new company was recently rebranded from Fortune Brands Home & Security Inc. to Fortune Brands Innovations Inc. The rebranding will become official when the cabinet company officially splits from the Fortune Brands label.
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