Hastings' Smead Manufacturing to lay off 50 workers
As of March 18, roughly 50 employees at Smead Manufacturing's
Hastings location will be out of work. The layoffs are a direct
result of high unemployment, which has adversely affected Smead's sales.
"It's no secret that unemployment remains exceedingly high," said
Smead's vice president of marketing, Jim Riesterer.
Smead makes products to help people stay organized - items that often
find primary use in businesses.
"Our level of sales is very much tied to the unemployment rate, as
well as the overall economy," Riesterer said.
Another factor is the level of competition Smead faces. Many
competitors have moved their productions out of the country in order
to lower costs, "which is making it more difficult for us to
compete," Riesterer said.
In order to keep up, Smead is continuing the efforts every business
makes to size its workforce to the realities of its market, he said.
"It's unfortunate that it results in a number of employees having to
lose their jobs," he said.
With more than 1,000 employees, this set of layoffs represents less
than 5 percent of the company's workforce. In Minnesota, Smead
employs 300 to 400 people.
"It's a difficult situation when anyone loses their position,"
"We remain committed to the community, we remain committed to
building our business and will continue to be a good corporate citizen."