“We are not laying anyone off,” Eisenga said. “We are cutting back temporary positions, but none of our employees are being laid off. … These are people we hire through a temporary agency, and there are no impacts to Continental full-time employees. We’re doing this because of the economic conditions we are currently in. We don’t anticipate seeing any type of effect or reduction in our employee base.”
Eisenga said the plant is reducing production on the light passenger truck line for a few weeks, due to market conditions. Those employees on the light passenger truck line will be assigned to other production jobs at the facility until the line picks back up, according to Eisenga.
“We’re making some inventory adjustments,” Eisenga said.
He added that he knows employees may be apprehensive about the changes that are happening.
“Yes, we’ve reduced the temporary work force by over 100 employees, right now, 124,” Eisenga said.
“We still have a large number of temporary employees working today. We have not reduced any Continental employees, and even hired some last week. … The main thing to remember is to keep things in perspective. We have tough economic conditions, I don’t know about the future, but this is preparing the facility for the future and our employment base for what is coming and hopefully, that’s a positive change in the economy, which happens sooner rather than later. We have plans to get through this and think we will get through this effectively.”
In addition to reducing the temporary workforce, the plant will undergo its routine December plant shutdown, which is done annually, Eisenga said.
“Everybody understands we have been going through major investments and expansion at this facility over the last few years, and we brought in a number of people on temporary assignments related to the expansion projects during the last couple of years. As assignments come to an end, (the temporary workforce reduction) occurs naturally in some cases. In other cases, the economic conditions of the auto industry have played a part in this.”
Eisenga said in addition to hiring full-time permanent employees, the facility is continuing to focus on training and education.
“We’re taking employees through educational programs that will not only enhance our operation, but help our employees in the future,” Eisenga said. (Tire Review/Akron)