Momentive furloughs 200 for up to 14 days
WATERFORD Citing unfavorable global economic conditions, Momentive Performance Materials Inc. furloughed approximately 200 employees at its Waterford plant Monday.
The plant, which is the company’s largest, employs about 1,000 people.
According to company spokesman John Scharf, the temporary layoffs will last between one and 14 days, depending on employees’ shifts.
The temporary move affects hourly employees represented by Local 81359 and Local 81380, who work in the finishing, maintenance, quality and logistics operations and chemical operations departments.
Scharf said the economy has weakened the market segments the company supports, including the automotive, residential construction, textile and furniture industries.
“We are experiencing a reduction in our customers’ orders,” he said. “Traditionally the year-end season is slower. Once you get to November and December in manufacturing, it’s very common for things to slow down a little bit for orders and such.”
The company notified union leaders of the impending layoffs Oct. 22 and told the employees on Nov. 9 and 12.
According to a company statement, affected employees have the option of using their vacation time so they can continue drawing pay during the furlough period, and their medical and dental benefits will continue while they are not working.
Similar layoffs were implemented in November and December 2011, Scharf said.
On Nov. 13, Momentive released its consolidated results for the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30.
The company reported net sales of $571 million, compared with $653 million in the prior year period. It also reported an operating loss of $7 million, versus an operating income of $27 million in the prior year period.
Overall, the company reported a net third-quarter loss of $81 million, compared with a net loss of $32 million in the prior year period.
Waterford Town Supervisor Jack Lawler said Monday he doesn’t feel that this round of furloughs at Momentive will have serious implications for the town.
“I think it’s consistent with some of the decisions they’ve made in the past. I’m not surprised or particularly alarmed by it,” he commented.
The layoffs come at the start of the holiday shopping season and Pete Bardunias, president and CEO of The Chamber of Southern Saratoga County, conceded that they could put a damper on the shopping plans of those who are out of work, but said he doesn’t think the layoffs will seriously impact holiday shopping in the region.
“We’re cautiously optimistic for a decent holiday shopping season,” he said.