Vicksburg Armstrong plant closing; 124 lose jobs

Published 11:25 pm Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Armstrong hardwood flooring plant here is halting operations for now and has notified its 124 workers that they will be out of work in 90 days.

Company spokeswoman Beth Riley said Armstrong wasn’t eliminating manufacturing in Vicksburg permanently and “Hopefully we can restart operations in the short term, but it strictly depends on the return of the markets.”

The Armstrong layoffs come as another in a series for the Vicksburg-area economy, which is following a national trend of manufacturing layoffs.

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Riley said the overall economy and declining demand for flooring products in the residential housing market forced Armstrong to lay off employees at three plants across the country, including one in Jackson, where approximately 100 employees will lose their jobs.

Riley said similar layoffs would were occurring in plants in Texas and Missouri, while a vinyl flooring plant in Montreal is also being temporarily closed. She said that about 600 people will lose their jobs, and there are no plans to offer them work at other plants throughout the country.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have options for them at other plants based on our volume reduction,” she said. “We’ll be working with them to provide onsite assistance with their job search efforts, and obviously they will be eligible for a recall when the time comes.”

The Vicksburg plant has 102 hourly and 22 salaried employees at the Vicksburg plant. Armstrong World Industries purchased the Vicksburg plant in 2006 from Capella Wood Floors, which was started by Anderson-Tully Co. in 2000.