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Sauer-Danfoss to lay off up to 20 workers

Another major area employer announces that 20 jobs will be cut because of the economy.

January 28, 2009, 4:57 p.m. Updated January 28, 2009, 6:28 p.m.

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A downturn in the construction industry is leading to more job losses at a Lawrence manufacturer.

Sauer-Danfoss announced late Wednesday afternoon that it would cut up to 20 jobs at its Lawrence plant in the East Hills Business Park.

The company makes transmission parts for various pieces of construction equipment.

“The economy is not that good right now,” said Beth Johnson, senior vice president for economic development for the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. “But one of the things we’re particularly seeing is that any company or offshoot of an industry that deals with construction is being hit.

“I think we’ll continue to see that.”

The layoffs come on the heels of two other East Hills businesses — Amarr Garage Doors and Progress Vanguard — announcing layoffs within the last two months.

Progress Vanguard is closing its Lawrence plant. Progress is owned by the Caterpillar Corp., which this week announced it was cutting 20,000 positions companywide. Caterpillar’s woes may be affecting Sauer-Danfoss as well. Caterpillar is a large customer for Sauer-Danfoss, Johnson said.

Attempts to reach a spokesman with Sauer-Danfoss were not immediately successful Wednesday afternoon. But the company did announce in December that it planned to reduce shifts for about a third of the plant’s employees. The plant manager had said that the reduced shifts would affect about 50 of the plant’s approximately 150 employees.

Sauer-Danfoss made that move in response to the operational shifts of a customer that shut down its own production for January.

In a press release on Wednesday, the company said it saw “no near-term improvement in demand” for its products.

Johnson said despite the layoffs, she believes the company is still strongly committed to continuing operations in Lawrence.

“Even with this layoff, they are still one of the larger employers in Lawrence,” Johnson said. “I believe this plant is very important to their operations.”

The company came to Lawrence in the 1990s, and at times has had 170 or more employees, according to past tax abatement reports filed with the city.

The company was granted an 80 percent tax abatement for about $23 million in investments it made at the East Hills Business Park, but that abatement reached its 10-year term and expired at the end of 2008.

Comments

Catalano 5 years, 10 months ago

How are they doing on their tax abatements?

Hoots 5 years, 10 months ago

We don't need a gear to go in reverse. This economy is dragging everything backwards right now no matter what. I haven't seen a time that worried me more.

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 10 months ago

That flushing noise you hear is the sound of Lawrence going down the tubes. Anyone with a brain could have seen this coming years ago in Lawrence thanks to the Hecklerian anti-business attitude in the city.

maxcrabb 5 years, 10 months ago

Once all the businesses out at the park go out of business, we can turn it into one large indoor/outdoor paintball arena. Put it on ESPN, and Lawrence will rake in the dough!

Chris Ogle 5 years, 10 months ago

Lawrence says...Somebody help us, we are in debt up to our eyeballs.

countrygirl 5 years, 10 months ago

From what I heard, the Amaar lay offs were normal seasonal ones that happen around this time every year.

spammer89 5 years, 10 months ago

Okay I have something to say. With all these layoffs coming down the pipe, why don't the CEO's and other upper management that makes those huge 7 figure salaries take a pay-cut to save some jobs. I mean hey drive a Toyota not a Jaguar, etc. I know this will not apply to all companies but the ones that announced Monday it would. I know for a fact that when the former Sprint CEO left for MU he gets paid $85,000 a year for the rest of his life from Sprint. That is at least 2-3 jobs right there. Now how messed up is that.

spammer89 5 years, 10 months ago

I agree toe, most people have no clue what is going on with upper management. The information is out there just have to find it.

rachaelisacancer 5 years, 10 months ago

What I want to know is which employees at Sauer-Danfoss will go first - those with legal authorization to work or those without?I'm hoping those without.

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 10 months ago

"toe (Anonymous) says… When bellies get hungry enough and the house is being foreclosed, I have a feeling the sheep will turn into wolves."Right... dictatorship of the proles and all that. Perhaps we can turn everyone into farmers and call it Year Zero as well?

vegetablegirl 5 years, 10 months ago

From past LJWORLD articles, Sauer has never met their abatement committments.

budwhysir 5 years, 10 months ago

End of tax ebatements? plant layoffs?? seems as though Lawrence has a bad problem of attracting companies that hang around long enought to take advantage of the tax perks and then they downsize or disappear. Didnt we have a bio medical company that took the money and ran?

bighammer 5 years, 9 months ago

I worked for Sauer-Danfoss for 41 years dating back when they were Sundstrand and boy does this sound like the old Sauer-Danfoss belive me this is just a start to the lay-offs as you see they closed the Lasalle plant I don't have to say any more BIGH

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