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Seasonal Layoffs Announced at Rheem

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About 50 Rheem Manufacturing employees in Fort Smith will be out of work by the end of the week as part of a planned seasonal layoff, a company official confirmed Tuesday.

The layoff is attributed to a lower demand for their products in the 4th quarter, John Anthony, director of human resources for Rheem’s Air Conditioning Division, said.

The workers will have recall rights, which means they could return to work when business picks up, according to Anthony.

Anthony said in years past Rheem typically seems an improvement in business around January, February and March which allows them to recall seasonally laid off workers.

Rheem laid off 16 salaried jobs at its Fort Smith plant and a distribution center in Lewisville, Texas, on May 24.

In June 2011 when Rheem announced the company would move 250 jobs from Fort Smith to an expanded manufacturing plant in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, during a phased plan expected to last three years.

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