Haworth falls victim to falling economy

December 9, 2008
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HOLLAND — Haworth Inc. announced today that it will follow suit with Herman Miller Inc. and Steelcase Inc. as it seeks to lay off 350 full time employees. The company will also close its Allegan facility by mid-2009, according to the press release distributed by Haworth earlier today.

The products manufactured in the Allegan plant, which is its seating plant, will be redistributed to other North American locations.

Mike Dunlap, owner and principal of Michael A. Dunlap & Associates LLC, commented on the closing of the Allegan plant,

“It is certainly a surprise,” he said. “I’m sure that Haworth has its strategic reasons behind it, but it’s simply not apparent in the initial release.”

The severance package being offered to employees is much more expansive than the traditional severance package. The package includes COBRA medical coverage at the same rate as active employees; entire payout of 2009 personal and vacation time; job search and interview training; if an employee is eligible for early retirement they may do so and still receive the enhanced package.

The statement signed by Franco Bianchi, president and CEO, stated the company will continue to work toward growing its market share and “achieve a balance that will enable us to weather these difficult times.”

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