BROOKVILLE, Ohio—The rubber industry is not immune to the economic hardships created by COVID-19, which is pushing millions of workers out of their jobs around the country.
Green Tokai Co. Ltd. Of Brookville, Ohio, temporarily has shut down operations, a move that impacts 543 workers, the company said.
"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are experiencing a significant lack of work and have to close operations. We are sorry that we are not able to give you or our employees greater advance notice, but given the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, these are business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable," the company said in a letter to the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services.
The hope, the company added, is to resume operations "in early May, if possible, but reopening will depend on circumstances associated with COVID-19, which are unknown and out of our control."
Green Tokai makes rubber automotive seals for doors, windows, windshields, trunks, hoods and roofs. The company also injection molds plastic parts for the automotive industry.
Profusion Industries Inc., of Marietta, Ohio, temporarily is laying off 126 employees, effective April 20, but expects to call them back to work April 27, the company told the state of Ohio.
"Due to uneven demand, however, Profusion anticipates that it may need to initiate additional short-term furloughs over the next two or three months," the company said in a letter to the state.
This temporary furlough follows two voluntary and temporary layoffs on March 30 and April 6, impacting 27 union members at Profusion "due to sudden and entirely unforeseen circumstances adversely affecting our business operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic."
The company said it does not expect these voluntary layoffs to extend beyond May 3.
Profusion also permanently laid off six non-union employees on April 8.
Bates Rubber of Lobelville, Tenn., told state officials that 78 workers were laid off from March 23-27.