Advertisement

Archive for Thursday, November 7, 1991

BENDIX/KING GOING AHEAD WITH PLANS TO CLOSE PAOLA PLANT

November 7, 1991

Advertisement

Despite efforts by Paola officials and civic leaders to derail the plan, Bendix/King still intends to move its avionics assembly and test operations from Paola to other nearby Kansas plants.

Although the majority of the displaced Paola employees and the plant's contracts will be reassigned to facilities at Ottawa and Olathe, company spokesman Tom Early said that as many as 10 Paola employees have accepted assignments at the Lawrence plant, 2920 Haskell Ave.

The local plant employed 464 people at the end of October, he said.

Early said the Paola employees who transfered to Lawrence would be doing work associated with a new military radio contract the Lawrence plant had received.

Not much of the Paola plant's work will be moved to Lawrence, he said. "It's going to be little odds and ends," he said.

ABOUT HALF a dozen employees of the Ottawa plant also recently transfered to Lawrence, Early said.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Bendix/King said the city of Paola had offered the company financial incentives to continue operating the facility, which employs about 316 people.

However, R. Craig Christie, president of Bendix/King's General Aviation Avionics Division, said the company was not in a position at this time to make an investment in the Paola facility.

"Our most pressing need in the short term . . . is to conserve the cash we're now generating from operations. The Paola plan would consume cash to pay interest charges and principal on new debt," he said.

Although the company will furlough its plant in Paola, it will continue to run a precision machining operation there, employing about 25 people. Bendix/King will convert the balance of the Paola plant into a warehouse to replace leased space at other locations.

CHRISTIE also left open the possibility that as the company's business expands, the Paola plant may be reactivated.

Bendix/King said it would take six to nine months to carry out the plant to shift its regional workforce, which first was announced in September.

Bendix/King officials have said the plan to redeploy most of its Paola workforce was a response to financial problems at Allied Signal, its parent company.

The New Jersey-based conglomerate last month announced plans to trim its own workforce by 5,000, a reduction of about 14 percent, over the next 18 months. The company said it hoped to save $350 million a year from the cuts.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.