Layoffs loom at three area plants

Layoffs from three local textile plants are expected to be finished by Christmas time, according to a local unemployment official.

KoSa will begin layoffs of 150 people at the end of this month, said Antwon Keith, manager of the Cleveland County branch of the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina.The company announced the layoffs on Oct. 8.The layoffs should be completed by Dec. 16, he said.

Grover Industries will begin laying off 40 employees this month, Keith said. The layoffs, announced Oct. 9, will be completed by the third week of December, he said. That will leave between 20 to 25 workers at the plant.

On Oct. 13, PPG announced it would lay off 40 employees and shut down a furnace by the end of March.

The layoffs became effective Oct. 27, said Keith.

Cleveland County’s current unemployment rate is 9.5 percent.

It is unlikely that the layoffs would immediately affect the rate, Keith said.

“It won’t have any effect for November because the bulk of these people will get severance pay,” said Keith.

Laid off PPG employees have probably begun to file for unemployment benefits, he said. Others laid off from either Grover or KoSa probably won’t file for unemployment until mid-December or the first of the year, Keith said.

January could bring a spike in the unemployment rate, he said, primarily because that’s when seasonal hiring for the holidays ends.

January is also a traditionally slow hiring time for most companies. It’s not until February or March that business begins to pick up again.

600450 Layoffs loom at three area plants
Date: 19 November 2003

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