Andersen Cites Housing Slump to Explain Workforce Cutback
Andersen Corp. announced in early December that 440 of its most recent hires would be out of work as of January 2. The company is laying off 400 of its 2,600 workers at its Bayport, MN, plant and another 40 of 340 workers at its Menomonie, WI, facility.
The company’s Bayport and Menomonie plants, two of Andersen’s 18 production facilities, were targeted for layoffs because their products are closely tied with new housing starts, said Andersen’s Maureen McDonough at a December press conference. The layoffs represent about 3 percent of the company’s global workforce of 15,000 people.
“Housing starts are down 12 percent year-to-date and industry experts are forecasting a further decline of about 10 to 12 percent in 2007,” McDonough noted. “This is not viewed as a temporary decline, but rather a larger term correction. Because we don’t expect a quick rebound, it’s clear that we have more capacity than we need to meet demand. So unfortunately…we need to reduce the size of our workforce.”
Those who were laid off received severance packages, including eligibility for the company’s 2006 profit-sharing checks. Andersen is the second major window manufacturer to announce a significant workforce reduction in recent months. Hurd Windows & Doors Inc. laid off 100 of about 270 workers at its facilities in Merrill, WI in October.
Hurd also pointed to declining demand, due to the fall-off in new home construction, as well as plans to expand vinyl window production in Ohio, to explain their decision.