County hears of Lafarge layoffs
by Michele Longoworth, Planet Reporter
Mar 21, 2012 | 1181 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tuesday morning at the Massac County commissioners meeting, the commissioners heard first-hand from Lou Derose, environmental and public relations manager at Lafage, regarding the shut down of the plant's kiln two and the layoff of 36 employees Thursday.

Derose said as of Thursday, the plant was shut down in order to reorganize following the permanent layoffs. He told the board since 2006 the cement industry has fallen 44 percent and about half of the industry has disappeared, noting other cement facilities have had to shutdown.

"It has caught up to the Joppa plant," he said, telling the board that kiln number two is indefinitely being "mothballed," with no plans to bring it back online. Derose noted that with two-thirds of the total workforce of 105 on kiln two, after the layoffs were announced a shutdown was required so that the remaining 69 employees could be reorganized into a one kiln operation.

Derose said the layoffs and shutdown of the kiln were made to all of the employees at one time and meetings were scheduled with individuals privately so as not to embarrass or single out employees who would not be returning. He explained one-third of those let go took early retirement and all of those laid off received a minimum of two months of full pay and benefits with a severance package.
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