Lawrence Paper Co. lays off 15 workers

The Lawrence Paper Co. laid off 15 workers on Friday. Close to 200 people work for the company, which makes packaging products for businesses.

February 27, 2009, 12:25 p.m. Updated February 27, 2009, 5:21 p.m.


At 7 a.m. Friday, Leigh-Ann Woody reported for work at the Lawrence Paper Co., just as she had been doing every day for two years.

Two hours later she was sent home without a job. She was one of 15 employees laid off by the firm, 2801 Lakeview Road, which can trace its Lawrence roots back to 1882.

“We had no warning at all,” Woody, of Lecompton, said. “My department, we had work. It was a shock to everybody.”

The layoffs were necessary because business is off close to 20 percent, company president Justin Hill said. The firm manufactures corrugated packaging products for different businesses.

“It’s just like everybody else, we’ve got to adjust our workforce to the amount of work we have,” Hill said.

The firm also will close its thermoform Perry Manufacturing plastics division plant in Perry and move the machinery to the Lawrence plant, Hill said. When that process is completed in 30 to 60 days, three employees from Perry will move to the Lawrence plant, and five people will be without jobs, he said.

Woody, who worked with big machinery, said she watched as a supervisor came back and got a female co-worker and led her away. It was the first indication that layoffs were starting, she said. Not long after a supervisor came for her. She said she met with another senior company official who explained why the layoffs were necessary. She was handed a packet of information that included a letter which stated that the company wished her well.

“People were looking at others walking out and your heart breaks for them and then they come for you,” Woody, 49, said.

Woody, who is single, said the job was especially important to her because she suffers from bipolar disorder, which can cause extreme emotional highs and lows. The job got her out of the house and she considered co-workers her family. It took one paycheck a month to pay for her medications because she couldn’t afford the company’s insurance premiums, she said.

“The job was a tremendous thing for me,” she said. “I overcame some big odds just to get this job, so I can do it again.”

The layoffs at the paper company came a day after another Lawrence business, Amarr Garage Doors, laid off 18 workers, only three months after it had laid off 100 employees.

In contrast, at least one Lawrence manufacturer is hiring. PackerWare Inc., 2330 Packer Road, maker of plastic products, is seeking to fill a variety of positions, including machine operators, truck and forklift drivers and skilled technicians, plant manager Steve Brown said.

“We’re going through an expansion phase and we continue to need good help,” he said. “There is a cap; it’s not unlimited hiring.”

Brown is well aware of what’s happening with layoffs at other local businesses, he said.

“We keep our ear close to the ground and we see what’s happened and that’s unfortunate, but our business is solid,” he said.


AttaGirl 9 years, 1 month ago

I was one of the employees layed off this morning and Lawrence paper company had customers all over the world including Saudi Arabian airlines. Alot of their customer base is local however.

Thinking_Out_Loud 9 years, 1 month ago

hawkperchedatriverfront wrote "Perry now has a vacant building coming up but at least close to a highway."

Last time I spent any time at all in Perry, every building was close to the highway.

bevy 9 years, 1 month ago

Bigger building in Perry for what?

Tony Kisner 9 years, 1 month ago

What a bout using the building as the "wet" shelter?

Bossa_Nova 9 years, 1 month ago

no doubt the economy is wreaking havoc on many companies who have to downsize their payroll, but dont be fooled. many companies are using the economy as an excuse to get rid of the mediocre or problematic personnel.

KS 9 years, 1 month ago

This applies to anyone! If the shoe fits, wear it. Instead of sitting on your dead butts and whining, why don't you get up and do something, like start your own business and do something worthwhile in your lives. Why is it always the other guys fault that you have problems? Every posting ahead of this one seems to be a Monday morning quarterback with a bitch about somebody else making their lives miserable. Do something or shut up.

Angie Dick 9 years, 1 month ago

My mother worked for the Paper company for 10 yrs. and was a very good employee. When they did layoff's yrs ago, She got the AX without notice aswell. Company's don't give a hoot... Who's live's they screw up.. They pick a and choose who is the biggest butt kisser, Who is the one with a college edcuation, who's the younger. They NEVER take into a effect the person that gets the job done and done we'll. If they need to do cut backs (for any company) Why don't they start looking into their CEO's and Manager's that make the big bucks and don't do crap?? Verses picking on the one's that just make enough to survive. OO that just irretates the crap out of me. Fire a hard worker that makes 10.00 an hr and save one that makes 20.00 an hr. that don't do anything? If ya need to save money, wouldn't you think the one's that make the most should go first?? Think about it? the so called pee on employee's are the one's that, Keep a company running.. NOT THE SO CALLED BIG WIGS. Humm just a thought!

slowplay 9 years, 1 month ago

hawkperchedatriverfront (Anonymous) says…

"I want to start up a business called The Moronic Temple, Will KS be my personnel manager and kick ass with the employees?"

Sounds like a one man operation to me. You certainly have the requirements.

ottmike 9 years, 1 month ago

Well more layoffs thanks to the OBAMA reccession! Thanks to all of you who voted for him I'm sure people like Leigh-Ann thank you also! Amerika is now a SOCIALIST nation.

slowplay 9 years, 1 month ago

"Well more layoffs thanks to the OBAMA reccession! "...

Yup, this recession started last month. How about posting something constructive instead of spitting out nonsense.

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