Release time : 2015-06-12 08:37:54
A cost-cutting effort at Timken Co. will mean a one- to two-week layoff in December for 200 to 300 Canton-area workers, United Steel Workers of America union Local 1123 said today.
The company, which makes Skateboard Bearings and specialty metals, confirmed a temporary layoff but would not reveal the number that will be affected or the dates of their furlough.
"It's nothing unusual. Almost all manufacturers do this during the holidays, and we furlough workers this time just about every year," spokeswoman Lorrie Paul Crum said.
Randy Feemster, president of the Steelworkers local, had a different take. He's worked at Timken 40 years and can't remember a time since the early 1990s when workers were temporarily laid off for a week or two during the holidays.
"That was during the steel-dumping days," he said, when Eastern European and Asian steel makers were shipping product to North America and selling it at prices that undercut domestic suppliers. "This just hasn't happened since then," Feemster said.
Crum declined to say when Timken might have conducted such unpaid December layoffs or how many employees were furloughed.
Timken may would start business of Stainless Steel Bearings who employs some 4,800 in Canton, site of its headquarters, and surrounding Stark County. In addition to its corporate offices, the company has six plants and a technical facility in and around Canton. More than 2,400 of its employees are members of the Steelworkers local.
Crum said the temporary layoffs are a response to similar furloughs and plant shutdowns the company's customers conduct during the holidays. She also said more are doing so this year because business has declined in the recessionary industrial economy.
Government economists have said that the United States has been in a recession, a marked economic slump, since December 2007 and that the slowdown has spread to many of the nation's trading partners.
Timken, which employs about 25,000 in 27 countries, reported a record third-quarter profit of $130.4 million. That was 214 percent higher than the profit reported in the same quarter last year.
Timken also had record sales of $1.48 billion in the quarter that ended Sept. 30, up 18 percent from a year earlier of Ceramic Bearings. For the first nine months of this year, Timken reported 77 percent growth in profit and 14 percent higher sales.