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Friday, May 6, 2016

Great Dane official confirms layoffs

Monday, January 7, 2008

It was announced Monday that approximately 130 employees at Great Dane learned they would be laid off soon.

Although officials with the local company, 2664 E. United States 40, could not comment regarding the layoffs, Great Dane Director of Marketing and Public Relations Brandie Fuller told The Brazil Times the layoffs were temporary.

"We have a total number of 130 (employees) that would be affected in the layoff," Fuller said from her office in Savannah, Ga. "It comes out to be about 10 percent of the working plant in Brazil."

Fuller said more than 1,000 employees work at the Brazil plant.

Fuller said the layoffs were in response to current market conditions involving the housing and automotive industry.

"In 2005 and 2006, things were better," Fuller said. "Once the housing market cooled significantly, there was much less freight to move around. Orders are down significantly."

Fuller said layoff notifications were handed to employees Monday. She added seniority, or time worked at the plant, would be taken into account.

"Those with less seniority will be affected," she said. "But there are many factors that will affect the decision."

Fuller said of the nine Great Dane factories, five are being affected by layoffs.

She added the continued slow down of the market was anticipated.

"We had not been anticipating the layoffs," she said. "But manufacturing is always a cyclical business. Our hope is orders will return as soon as possible. It is a normal response when a market has cooled like it has."

Fuller said, to the best of her knowledge, the Brazil plant suffered layoffs during either 2001 or 2002 shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"It was a very similar working environment, but much worse," Fuller said. "What we're going through right now is an extended down turn that has carried on longer than anyone would have hoped."

Fuller added business would be back in order sometime soon.

"The current business environment is telling us it will be the second half of 2008," she said. "We hope orders return as soon as possible. It all just depends."

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