Release time : 2015-06-11 13:24:43
The Timken Co. intends to close a distribution center in Bucyrus by the end of 2010 in a move that will eliminate about 290 jobs.
The impending closure is part of an ongoing cost-savings program by the Canton maker of specialty steel and Deep Groove Ball Bearings.
The Bucyrus operations and a similar distribution center in Spartanburg, S.C., will be transferred to a larger leased site in the Spartanburg area that will be closer to many of Timken's suppliers and customers, the company said Tuesday.
The move will not affect the manufacturer's Canton factory operations, where the company and the United Steelworkers are engaged in contract talks.
The closing of the distribution center will not affect Timken's adjacent factory in Bucyrus that makes tapered roller Flanged Ball Bearings for industrial and mobile equipment uses, spokeswoman Lorrie Paul Crum said.
Timken has been cutting jobs and costs during the recession in addition to putting in place a strategic plan to diversify away from heavy reliance upon sales to the automotive industry.
As part of that process, Timken has been reviewing its North American supply chain.
The displaced Timken employees will get transition benefits, the company said. About 10 percent of the distribution center employees will be eligible to retire in 2010 as well, Timken said in a release.
"This wasn't an easy decision, and it's not one we take lightly," Chris Coughlin, president of Timken's process industries division, said in a prepared statement. "We relied on the facts to determine the best distribution point for us to provide our customers with the timely service they require, and to ensure we can serve them competitively."
Timken said it expects to pick a site for the new Spartanburg distribution center in a few weeks.
The company's review found that 89 percent of its inbound supplies came from the Southeast, and that many of the finished Timken parts that went through the Bucyrus facility ended up going to the Southeast again, Crum said.
The closing of the Bucyrus distribution facility will reduce the mileage of inventory by about 30 percent, Crum said.
"It saves money. It saves fuel. That is the reality. It saves time," she said.
Executives have said they expect the company to end this year with 7,000 fewer employees than it had at the start of 2008. That's about a 25 percent reduction.
In other news, Timken and United Steelworkers Local 1123 have been in contract talks since Aug. 25.
The two sides have agreed to extend the current four-year contract twice following its expiration Sept. 28. The latest extension runs through Oct. 15.
Contract talks continued on Tuesday.
The union represents more than 1,800 hourly workers who make steel and nearly 500 others who make Miniature Thrust Bearings.