11/30/06 — Dudley plant to lay off workers

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Dudley plant to lay off workers

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on November 30, 2006 1:46 PM

Fourteen more Georgia-Pacific Oriented Strand Board workers will be laid off Friday, bringing the total released since October to 63, a company official said Thursday.

Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific informed employees Oct. 3 that hourly paid employees would be laid off in stages at the company's board plant in Dudley due to "overall market conditions," Georgia-Pacific spokesman James Malone said. None of the layoffs will affect the company's plywood, chip and saw or wood procurement operations in Dudley.

When the company made that October announcement, the Georgia-Pacific OSB plant had 77 hourly employees, Malone said. As of Thursday, that number had been gradually cut to 28 employees. On Friday, only 14 hourly employees will be left at the plant.

Malone said the remaining workers will be tasked with maintaining the plant's machinery, buildings and grounds maintenance and any other jobs needed to maintain the facility.

If market conditions improve in the coming months, the plant will be ready to continue operations and to hire more employees, Malone said. But all manufacturing operations have been suspended until further notice.

Oriented strand board is formed at the plant by layering strands of wood in a specific pattern. The strands are bonded together and pressed to create a product used for structural panels, roof sheathing and some residential construction, he said.

Georgia-Pacific oriented strand board can be used for flooring under carpet or tile to adjust a finished floor's height, as a weather-protecting element in insulation and for roof decks.

Company officials will evaluate the plant's operations every 60 days to determine if more hourly employees need to be laid off, Malone said. Also, those evaluations will help the parent company determine whether to restart manufacturing any time next year.

"It gives us the opportunity in 2007 to re-evaluate our situation. If it turns out to be good, then we can start up development," Malone said. "But this is not a closure."