Update: TE Connectivity to begin layoffs in April

 

GREENSBORO — TE Connectivity Ltd. will begin layoffs at its Piedmont Triad Parkway plant in Guilford County in April, according to two WARN Act filings.(A previous version of this story contained incorrect information. See clarification below 2/26/13 2:01 p.m.)

In November, a company spokesman said they expected to begin eliminating 620 to 670 full-time jobs in January.

On Monday, the company filed a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) Act notice with the N.C. Commerce Department, saying up to 664 jobs would begin to be affected April 15.

The notice typically is required if a company is conducting a mass job cut –– defined as more than 50 employees –– involving the closing of a plant or operation within a 60-day period.

According to a notice TE Connectivity filed with Greensboro Mayor Robbie Perkins, the company expects to begin letting employees go April 5.

Tom Peacock, senior manager of communications, said Tuesday the company will conduct “waves of layoffs” during the year, initially affecting between 50 to 100 employees in April. The plan is to keep the plant open through the end of the year to complete existing orders.

Peacock said up to 50 employees could be transferred to two other Greensboro plants or its Winston-Salem plant. Those plants focus on the company’s automotive and transportation units.

Once the Piedmont Triad Parkway plant is closed, TE Connectivity will have 1,000 to 1,200 Triad employees. Like many companies based in the north High Point business parks, TE Connectivity likely had employees com-muting from several parts of the Triad.

The plant makes connectors for appliances, including refrigerators, washers and dryers. Although the 250,000-square-foot plant is in High Point, it has a Greensboro address, as do other companies in the business park.

“We’re dealing with excess capacity in appliance manufacturing,” Peacock said in explaining the shutdown. The plant’s production is being transferred to facilities in Pennsylvania, Mexico and China.

The plant closing is the second major Triad shutdown for the company. In July 2009, when parts of its production took place at Tyco Electronics in Wallburg in northern Davidson County, that plant closed, eliminating about 400 jobs. That plant had a peak workforce of about 1,800.

TE Connectivity is the first major job cut in Guilford since The American Express Co. closed its call center near Piedmont Triad International Airport in late 2011, eliminating 1,500 jobs. Another 400 were converted to work-at-home employees.

The news has dented what has been an encouraging jobs recovery in Guilford County the past 14 months.

Since December 2011, the Greensboro-High Point metropolitan statistical area has had a net gain of 5,600 jobs. The MSA had been buoyed by several expansion announcements that will take several years to flesh out.

They include: BB&T Corp. adding 1,700 jobs as part of taking over the closed American Express building; Ralph Lauren Co.’s 500 jobs in High Point; Solstas Lab Partners’ 500 jobs in High Point; Honda Aircraft Co.’s 419 jobs at PTI; High Point University’s 400 jobs; United Healthcare’s 537 jobs in Greensboro in 2012 and another 500 jobs in Greensboro in 2013; Procter and Gamble’s 200 jobs in Browns Summit; and Qualicaps Inc.’s 123 jobs in Whitsett.

Clarification: A TE Connectivity Ltd. spokesman said the company will begin laying off employees at its Piedmont Triad Parkway plant in Guilford County in April. The plant is not closing in April as originally reported. The layoffs will continue through the end of the year.

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