More Jobs Cut at Chatham County Fiber Plant

Posted January 12, 2007

Goodyear Strike Leads to Layoffs at Chatham Fiber Plant
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— Performance Fibers is in the process of laying off some 10 percent of its employees at the polyester production plant in Chatham County.

A company spokesperson confirmed Friday that a mixture of workers – both salaried and hourly – are being let go. The plant employs approximately 500 people.

The bad news comes a month after Performance Fibers reduced its workforce by a “very small percentage” in December as part of the fallout from the extended strike by workers at Goodyear. Performance Fibers is a Goodyear supplier.

“Performance Fibers is first asking for volunteers from our hourly employees to avoid an involuntary reduction-in-force at [the] New Hill facility,” said Performance Fibers’ Joan Izzo from company headquarters in Richmond, Va. “Yes, all impacted employees are offered out-placement assistance and severance packages.

“We deeply regret the impact these difficult, yet necessary decisions will have on our employees and their families and we’re doing our best to help and support them through this transition,” she added. “We are first asking for volunteers from our hourly employees to avoid an involuntary reduction in force. We are offering out-placement assistance to all impacted employees and severance packages.”

Performance Fibers is the largest employer in Moncure. The company invested $5.5 million in upgrades to the facility last year, according to Izzo. It is one of 11 plants operated by Performance Fibers and sits on 420 acres of land.

The layoffs are part of changes made by Performance Fibers that also included some layoffs in Richmond, she added.

The company employs approximately 2,600 people.

Of the workers who were laid off or volunteered to leave in December, all but about 10 have returned to work, Rizzo said

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