Nearly 100 Rheem Workers to be Laid off in the New Year

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Rheem in Fort Smith is laying off 75-100 hourly employees next year, the company announced Thursday.

Officials called the move a “staffing adjustment” and released the following statement:  

“Today’s HVAC manufacturing process is cyclical in nature, and to remain competitive, we often have to make staffing adjustments to reflect changing business conditions. Today in Fort Smith, we’ve announced a layoff of 75-100 hourly employees, effective Jan. 11, 2013, as a result of seasonal adjustments in volume. Today’s adjustment is consistent with annual staffing changes at this time of year. Rheem is constantly evaluating its employment needs for competitiveness, and we will make staffing modifications in the future as market conditions change.”

Lindsey Ford, Senior Public Relations Specialist, with Rheem Manufacturing, said there is a possibility that the company will have the opportunity to recall employees in the future.

About 50 employees were laid off in October. 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.