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FLSmidth to shut down unionized plant in Manheim 

FLSmidth, a Denmark-based engineering, equipment and service solutions company, plans to close its Manheim-based machining parts manufacturing plant, said to be the company’s last unionized plant in the country. 

The company announced the closure, which is expected to displace the majority of its 58 workers between Jan. 31 and Feb. 14 of next year, in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice sent to the state Department of Labor and Industry on Nov. 1. 

The 236 South Cherry St., Manheim plant specializes in machining parts for the mining and concrete businesses and marks FLSmidth’s last unionized plant in the states, said Kermit Forbes Jr., business representative for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), Local Lodge No. 2367. 

The local union represented 49 employees of the Manheim plant, 14 of which have already found new work elsewhere, said Forbes. 

“The way we understand it is that the plant is profitable. We don’t understand why they closed it,” he said. “They have their reasons. Could it be that we are the only union facility that they have in the U.S.? It certainly looks like it.” 

FLSmidth has not responded to a request for comment. 

The company plans to lay off most of its employees between Jan. 31 and Feb. 14 but will likely require the services of some employees beyond that date for production or shutdown activities, it wrote in the WARN notice. 

It will not be offering employees bumping rights to transfer to other facilities. FLSmidth has said that it will be transferring services to facilities both within and outside of the country, according to Forbes. 

The local IAMAW lodge has offered its remaining members work within other unionized plants in the region and is looking to offer a job fair with the help of the state Department of Labor and Industries’ Rapid Response Services. 

FLSmidth employees around 10,200 employees in more than 60 counties. The company reported a revenue increase of 22% in the third quarter of 2021, a jump from Danish Krone (DKK) 3.955 billion or $607 million in Q3 2020 to DKK 4.549 billion or $698 million. 

Ioannis Pashakis
Ioannis Pashakis covers health care, the gig economy, cannabis and technology. Email him at [email protected].

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