Dexter factory to lay off half of workers

Friday, January 7, 2011
A welcome sign outside the Faurecia plant in Dexter, Mo. (Noreen Hyslop/The Daily Statesman)

DEXTER, Mo. -- After months of rumors about layoffs, employees of Stoddard County's largest industrial plant, Faurecia, learned Wednesday that the work force there will be halved.

Over the past few months the local plant has used three full-time around-the-clock shifts, fulfilling contracts initiated before the February sale of the former EMCON Technologies to the France-based Faurecia company.

According to longtime human resource director Bobby Ward, the plant will reduce its force of 1,000 by 500 employees.

"Due to customer needs and our commitment to be a competitive partner for our customers, we will reallocate some activity from the Dexter facility to other Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies locations in North America," Ward said.

The reduction in work force will begin in March and will continue through September.

"We will work with each employee to make the transition as smooth as possible," Ward said. "We will negotiate with the UAW on the effects for union-represented employees."

Ward said Faurecia will also work with local and federal agencies to offer displaced employees the opportunity for training and job placement.

Faurecia has filed a petition with the Department of Labor on behalf of Dexter employees for TAA (Trade Adjustment Agreement) benefits.

Faurecia employees learned of the planned reduction as third-shift workers prepared to leave their posts early Tuesday morning and first-shift employees were reporting for work. Second-shift personnel were told by plant authorities when they reported for work at 4 p.m. The reductions will affect both union and salaried employees, Ward said.

The local plant increased its work force dramatically over the past 18 months, following a massive layoff as the economy plummeted in 2008 and 2009. All laid-off employees were called back, however, in the summer 2009, and about 400 more employees were hired as well to fulfill work that was newly contracted just before the sale of the company to Faurecia.

Contrary to some rumors circulating the area, Ward has confirmed Faurecia officials have no intention of closing the Dexter plant.

In 1973, the local exhaust emissions manufacturer opened its doors in Dexter under the name Arvin Industries. Later it became ArvinMeritor Inc. That name changed in May 2007 when One Equity Partners, a New York-based firm, announced the acquisition of ArvinMeritor's Emissions Technologies Group in a $310 million transaction. ArvinMeritor then became EMCON Technologies and operated as such until the Faurecia purchase.

Faurecia took ownership of the local plant in February. The transaction made Faurecia the world leader in emissions control technologies.

The company is the sixth-largest international automotive parts manufacturer in the world. Faurecia develops and produces entire exhaust systems from the manifold to the tail pipe as well as automotive seating, interior systems and automotive exteriors. The company has operations in 32 countries at 200 sites and employs about 62,000 people.

Pertinent address:

1207 Arvin Road, Dexter, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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