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Examiner
  • Lafarge to lay off 35

  • Lafarge is temporarily shutting down the mine, most of its mills and the kiln at its Sugar Creek plant, resulting in about 35 layoffs.

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  • Lafarge is temporarily shutting down the mine, most of its mills and the kiln at its Sugar Creek plant, resulting in about 35 layoffs.
    The cuts are set for the beginning of November. The plant has about 100 workers, about half salaried and half hourly. The laid-off workers are hourly. The company says it hopes to bring them back in mid-January.
    A memo to employees said the decision was “strictly based on current market conditions.”
    The plant makes Portland cement, which is used in everything from construction projects to sidewalks. Most of what the plant makes is sold in the Kansas City area, according to Steve Kidwell, the plant’s manager of environmental and public affairs.
    The layoffs are planned for about 70 days.
    “It could be sooner if the market comes back,” Kidwell said.
    The memo said there will be a few layoffs around the Christmas holidays. Workers are expected to be called back Jan. 11, 2010 – with the kiln starting back up a week later – if the market warrants it.
    The federal economic stimulus effort includes a good deal of money for highways and other construction work, which should help companies such as Lafarge.
    “We hope so. It didn’t happen this year,” Kidwell said. “There’s a real hope that in the second half of this year things will pick up.”
    The plant has slowed operations at other times this year without having to make layoffs, Kidwell said, and other Lafarge plants in the Midwest have had shutdowns as well.
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