Steelcase recalls most workers, eases pay and hour cuts
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - As government-mandated restrictions begin to lessen, contract furniture giant Steelcase is recalling most of its furloughed manufacturing employees.
All of the company's manufacturing and distribution plants have reopened, with showrooms beginning to reopen, the company said in an earnings call. Pay and hour cuts are also being reduced.
Steelcase temporarily laid off nearly all of its hourly manufacturing and distributing employees in Michigan late March. The only hourly workers to remain were those serving the healthcare industry. It also slashed the salaries of all salaried workers. CEO James Keane received a base pay of just $1, and other executives saw 60 percent and 50 percent pay cuts.
“As we enter fiscal 2021, we had strong backlog, strong orders and a growing pipeline, particularly in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and the Americas, but the COVID-19 crisis has interrupted our operations in a way that makes it impossible to provide meaningful estimates of revenues or earnings per share," said Keane at the time.
The office furniture maker's revenue took a big hit during the shutdown, falling 39 percent from a year ago (March was down 21 percent and April was down 60 percent). International operations were also shut down, including those in France, India, and Malaysia.
During late March, April, and May, the company produced masks for use in clinical environments; facial shields for clinicians in direct contact with patients; and social screens, desktop and floor mounted, for screening and communicating with visitors at safe social distances.
Steelcase is the second largest wood manufacturing company in North America. It had annual sales of nearly $3.5 billion in 2019 and it runs 21 manufacturing plants around the world.

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Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at [email protected].