Let The Layoffs Begin
Some of the largest commercial printers are closing plants and laying off employees.
by Erik Cagle
After an almost unprecedented stretch of prosperity across the board, the commercial printing industry is starting to feel the pinch of a plodding economy. Several prominent companies have responded with cost reduction measures.
• Montreal-based Quebecor World, the world's largest printer, plans to close plants in Illinois, Kentucky and Nebraska, resulting in the loss of more than 1,000 jobs. The company refused to comment on the situation.
• Cadmus Communications, in Richmond, Va., is cutting 280 positions, 8 percent of its 3,500-employee work force.
• Chicago-based R.R. Donnelley & Sons closed the doors of its St. Petersburg, Fla., and Houston facilities, in addition to the previously reported South Daytona, Fla., plant. A total of 360 jobs were lost, not counting 160 who were let go from the Hudson, Mass., facility at the end of 2000. It also plans to close its Des Moines, Iowa, plant, which employs 775 people.
• Bowne & Co., of New York, disclosed that its cost-reduction plan will eliminate 650 positions. Its Internet consulting business, Immersant, will be shut down.
Quebecor World's Salem, Ill., facility, which employs 880, was slated to lock its doors permanently early this month. Officials at the Illinois Department of Employment Security said the firm advised the agency of its intention to close the plant on June 2, barring any change in circumstances.
Under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act of 1988 (WARN), employers are required to give a 60-day notice of plant closings and layoffs of 50 or more employees.
"The State of Illinois and local elected officials in the Salem area have initiated talks with Quebecor to determine if there is anything that can be done to keep this 25-year-old facility open," commented Illinois Governor George H. Ryan in a press release. "In the meantime, we are taking steps to see that all state employment services are made available to the plant's workers to ensure that they land on their feet."