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Donaldson Company announces 56 layoffs Friday as part of previous announcement in 2019

Donaldson in Stevens Point, November 13, 2019 (WSAW Photo)
Donaldson in Stevens Point, November 13, 2019 (WSAW Photo)(WSAW)
Published: Jun. 19, 2020 at 12:19 PM CDT
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Friday, 56 employees of Donaldson Company in Stevens Point were told their jobs were being eliminated. The cuts were part of the company's restructuring, which was

which would eliminate about 200 employees from the Stevens Point location over the course of about two years.

The company's communications director, Becky Cahn told 7 Investigates the reason for the restructuring remains the same as announced in 2019.

"...it is in response to softening demand from our customers across a broad range of product families and part of Donaldson’s ongoing strategy to manufacture products at cost-competitive plants," she stated. "The timing of the full restructuring has altered and is now expected to take place up to 36 months after the initial announcement — completing the four line transfers to other Donaldson plants in the Americas region is taking longer than originally anticipated, especially with COVID-19 heightened safety measures and travel restrictions."

She said the slowing demand during the COVID-19 pandemic was not a large factor in the number of employees included in this round of layoffs. The plant now employs 400 people, down from 550 prior to the 2019 announcement.

Donaldson Company works to solve filtration challenges in a variety of industries. The Stevens Point location manufactures hydraulic, lube and fuel filters for large construction and agricultural machines.

"After the restructuring is complete, the plant will focus on first fit assemblies, new product introductions, and ongoing current production, employing approximately 250-300 employees," Cahn said.

She said effective July 10, restructuring will impact 65 hourly employees and no salaried employees at this time due to attrition in salaried roles over the last 13 months.

Plant leadership has met with union representatives from UAW Local 2020 to talk about the impact of the restructuring and the two have "jointly applied for Trade Adjustment Assistance to give the displaced workers additional benefits for job retraining and education," she noted. The company has also notified the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, which will offer outplacement services to those laid off.

These positions will transfer to existing plants in the Americas. Cahn affirmed in 2019 that many of the positions will be moved to Mexico.

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