GOSHEN, Ind.—Automotive parts supplier GDC Inc. temporarily will lay off 293 employees in response to the slowdown in work due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The manufacturer of gaskets, seals and components for air flow systems and acoustic insulation said its three largest customers "suddenly and unexpectedly" announced they temporarily would close their factories because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
At GDC, some of the layoffs started March 23 for employees at five plants in Goshen and one in Elkhart, Ind. The company said it has furloughed 271 production floor workers and nine shipping workers, as well as office employees and a supervisor for possibly up to six months.
"It is expected that the mass layoff will be temporary; however, the estimated duration is not known at this time. Nonetheless, it is expected that the duration of this layoff will not exceed 6 months," Donna L. Reglein, GDC's human resources director, said in a March 24 letter to the officials of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
None of the employees are represented by a union and do not have bumping rights.
The layoff notice was provided to the state in accordance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. However, Reglein said GDC couldn't meet the requirement that calls for 60 days advance notice for mass layoffs because the pandemic has caused "unforeseen business circumstances."
On its Facebook page, company officials told the "GDC family" that the layoffs are a result of the "lack of demand from the automotive industry."
"The option of a layoff allows you to file for unemployment benefits, which is done completely online. Use your mobile device, tablet, or computer to complete this process ASAP," the Facebook post said.