Layoffs occurring at three local plants


LAWRENCEVILLE - By the end of this month, more than 200 locals will be without a job.

According to a Web site from the Georgia Department of Labor announcing layoffs, three manufacturing facilities in the area are letting some of their work force go.

A total of 178 employees are facing a lay-off by Johnson Controls Team Atlanta.

The employees work at facilities in Norcross and Suwanee, according to paperwork filed with the Department of Labor.

The company makes car seats for General Motors and wrote in a letter to the mayors of the cities that the decision to downsize was based on GM's decision to only work one shift at its Doraville plant.

The workers, who mostly live in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties, are available for recall until August 2008.

A third manufacturing facility - The R&R Manufacturing Co. in Auburn - is laying off 30 workers.

Auburn's mayor, Harold Money, said the company that makes men's trousers has had a hard time competing against manufacturing plants in China and Mexico.

"I've been talking to (owner) John (Withers) off and on for a year now, and he's getting ready to close the whole thing," Money said.

Last year, textile mill Barrow Manufacturing closed in the county, costing about 200 jobs. Money said at one time, R&R Manufacturing employed as many as 50 people.

"We don't like to lose jobs, we like to create jobs," he said. "It's a bad thing happening for the little city of Auburn."

Anther recently announced layoff came from building products distributor Bluelinx.

Company spokesman Jim Storey said 100 salaried positions were cut, mostly in Denver and Atlanta. One position was axed at the Lawrenceville distribution center, he said.

"We are adjusting to the business conditions in our industry," he said, adding that the softening housing industry has caused the prices of wood products to decline.