GREENVILLE, S.C. (Feb. 4, 2009)—Michelin North America Inc. is reducing production at some of its U.S. and Canadian tire plants in response to deteriorating market conditions, especially in the original equipment market.
The changes announced Feb. 4 include the release of more than 250 contractors, some production and schedule reductions for employees at five plants, and some layoffs and reduced overtime, depending on the tire plant.
The reductions include:
* Greenville, S.C., passenger and light truck tires: 45 production contractors will be released in February; beginning March 1 and continuing for four weeks, 870 hourly employees will have schedules reduced by about 10 hours per week.
* Lexington, S.C., passenger and light truck tires: The plant will reduce its production over the next eight weeks; available employees from US5 (Lexington passenger plant) will be used to fill open positions at US7 (Lexington earthmover plant) on the same campus; 43 contractors will be released in February.
* Ardmore, Okla., passenger and light truck tires: 120 contractors were released mid-November 2008; beginning Feb. 13 and continuing for eight weeks, 1,455 hourly employees will have their schedules reduced by 12 hours every two weeks.
* Spartanburg, S.C., truck tires: 32 production contractors and 15 mechanical contractors were released in November and December; beginning the week of Feb. 8 and continuing for eight weeks, 835 hourly employees will have their schedules reduced to an average of 35 hours per week.
* Waterville, Nova Scotia, truck, small over-the-road and earthmover tires: On Feb. 3, the company announced a temporary layoff of 95 flex employees effective April 1; since Jan. 29, the firm reduced one 12-hour shift every 4 weeks for flex employees and eliminated overtime for full-time employees.
Michelin said it remains a healthy company on sound financial footing. The actions to reduce costs are helping the tire maker weather the crisis, the firm said, and it is monitoring the unpredictable economic and market situation.
Further actions may be necessary, Michelin said.