Archive for Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Amarr Garage Doors lays off 19 employees in Lawrence, citing seasonal downturn

December 28, 2010


Amarr Garage Doors laid off 19 manufacturing employees this week in Lawrence, citing a seasonal downturn in residential and commercial construction nationwide.

The layoffs affected full-time workers on all three shifts at the manufacturing plant at the southeastern edge of Lawrence, at 3800 Greenway Circle in the East Hills Business Park. Most of the affected employees learned of the layoffs Tuesday, but some had been notified late Monday.

“Obviously, we’re tied to the construction market, and the construction sector,” said Delbert Phlipot, vice president for manufacturing at Amarr, which is based in Winston-Salem, N.C. “Construction usually slows in the winter months.”

The company still has about 480 employees working at the 411,000-square-foot plant, which produces garage doors that are sold through more than 3,000 independent dealers and some major retailers, including Costco and — under private labels — Sears and Lowe’s Home Improvement Centers.

The company also made a handful of seasonal layoffs at a smaller manufacturing center in Mocksville, N.C., Phlipot said.

“We don’t anticipate any future reductions,” said Scott Carpenter, an Amarr spokesman.

Affected workers have not been offered severance packages or outplacement services, Phlipot said, although there could be potential for rehiring some displaced workers when and if construction activity picks back up.


Clovis Sangrail 7 years, 5 months ago

This company has received tax abatements for several years, and I believe I saw in the 2009 tax abatement report that Amarr had requested additional property tax relief effective Jan 1, 2010.

Might I suggest that rather than regurgitating Amarr's press release, perhaps the Journal World would care to send its team of crack investigative reporters look into Amarr's tax abatements and see if Amarr is in compliance with the provisions.

I'll give you a couple of places to start --

geoismeo 7 years, 5 months ago

I worked there for 8 years and Amarr is a lousy place to work. They work thier employees to death during the busy season and fire them when there is a slow down They care nothing about thier employees. I'm surprised they still find people willing to work there.

Andrew Reeves 7 years, 5 months ago

I really do value your insight pertaining to this issue. It seems that it's getting harder and harder to find a decent job these days, and reading about this turn of events has furthered my view on the downward spiral of the Lawrence job scene. So kudos to you.

However....I just want to bring up your post. No big deal. It just reminded me of times when I go through posts on this site (and others) and I see the most basic of spelling and/or grammar errors. I'll start by giving you "props" for spelling "employees" without the apostrophe. When did adding an apostrophe to a word to indicate plural become the norm? I.E. ....I own a lot of book's. I have a lot of shoe's. Most people would've said "...about their employee's." Good job on that.

But your double mistake of spelling the word "their" bugs me a little. I apologize that I have to lash out on you. But I'm so sick of seeing the most simple of spelling mistakes. I'm sorry, but I can't take anyone seriously when they misspell common words such as "its" or "it's", or "to" or "too".

But I still commend you on the meat of your statement.

he_who_knows_all 7 years, 5 months ago

You forgot "loose" and "lose" in you're petty little battle. Its easy too due.

Liberty275 7 years, 5 months ago

I think he meant it was overdue and was just using a creative mix of words instead of the same old boring word everyone else uses.

Terry Sexton 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm sorry, Dispersant, but all positions for Grammar Police have already been filled. Don't worry, though, because your application is forfeit for using the word 'but' to start your sentences.

yankeevet 7 years, 5 months ago

I know dats right.......................

go4it55 7 years, 5 months ago

My family has had dealings with Amarr. I am an independent business owner and can run a company with 10 times more integrity than they have. I understand all about profit and making money. that is what business is all about. Amarr doesn't care about any of their employees. They work the employees to death with mandatory over-time and threaten them if they don't show up. Then to show their appreciation - they give no raises, lay people off, elimiate profit sharing, terminate employees within months of retirement and walk people out the door without even giving them a dime for a phone call. Last year - when this event happened - there were several who didn't even have rides and they had guards not allow them stay on the property to wait for rides. I would call that cruel. The best one - is when they fire totally worthless people - hire them back and give them better shifts than people who had more seniority and were good employees. Yes - they provide jobs - no doubt about it - but as a business goes - they are a lousy place to work - poor management is where it starts - won't listen to reason and just pretty much has the lowest moral of all factories. Alot of friends - good employees and myself - got out. To bad for those who have to deal with their ungrateful ways. No raises again this year - and another layoff. Beware - those who are close to retirement - you will be next!!!!

butrflkisz 7 years, 5 months ago

you stayed for 8 yrs it obviously wasn't that bad and a job is a job in this economy and the lay off could have been much worse

ssakcaj 7 years, 5 months ago

No one gets sucked into staying. They just don't want to deal with changing, as you said they lack the initiative.

The other people you list who seem to be trying, and biding their time while taking classes, gathering resources to relocate, etc, aren't stuck. You even state they are biding their time. In other words they know they are in a mudhole and choose to stay in the mudhole for reasons of their own.

People don't get stuck, they choose to stay.

verity 7 years, 5 months ago

You are wrong, as Pywacket has already pointed out. There are many reasons people get stuck in deadend, soul crushing jobs.

Just a few in addition to what Pywacket said.

  1. Some people are at an age where they are not going to be hired for any decent full-time job and have to keep doing what they are doing until they can manage to retire.

  2. Right now, finding any job that one can actually support oneself on is difficult to impossible.

  3. As L275 says below, 99% of jobs are crappy (well, maybe not quite that high, but most). It's often better to stay where you are because you would take a cut in pay and quite possibly be in a worse situation.

Don't be so self-righteous and judgmental. The people you speak of may be sending out resumes and applying for other jobs. To say that they don't want to deal with change or lack initiative is not something that you know.

Liberty275 7 years, 5 months ago

"crappy job"

99% of jobs are crappy. If they weren't then people wouldn't want money for doing them.

Jeremiah Jefferson 7 years, 5 months ago

Its a pretty crappy thing to do durring the hollidays. Ottawa Truck/Kalmar does the same thing. They get busy and hire a bunch of people forcing them to work overtime to get caught up then punt them when things get a little slow. These companies got no sense of controling work flow and pacing themselves. Made good money a year ago, but now everyones starving to death cause there isn't any work

ssakcaj 7 years, 5 months ago

They don't control the orders, their customers do. That is just the nature of the business.

tolawdjk 7 years, 5 months ago

Because stockpiled doors are inventory. And inventory on the books, but not moving, is wasted capital. I know of several manufacturers that strive to have just enough inventory on stock that day to complete what they can build, that day, with the idea that supplies for tomorrow will come in later that same day to allow for production tomorrow. This is even with supply lines providing inventory as far as eastern europe.

geoismeo 7 years, 5 months ago

Go to work there and see how you like it. Oh, you haven't worked there? Maybe you're the know it all.

Liberty275 7 years, 5 months ago

"Corporate welfare is like stealing"

All welfare is like stealing... no. it IS stealing.

Liberty275 7 years, 5 months ago

Both are stealing money people work to earn. You can't condemn one while making excuses for the other without being a hypocrite.

Don't feel as if you are alone though, the left is full of faces that talk out of both sides of their mouths.

DillonBarnes 7 years, 5 months ago

Jobs that require seasonal workers is nothing new. I'm sure sorry this had to happen, and I know the struggles the families will now have to go through. However, blaming a business for being a business is missing the point.

Don't hate the player, hate the game.

nowthetruth 7 years, 5 months ago

Here is the thing about Amarr. They do this every year... does that make it right, no! But, employees should expect this by now. The real problem is the leaders are idiots. They don't think beyond 30 days out. They don't understand how impactful their lack of insight really is, because they are pulling down the big dollars and don't feel the pain. I worked at Amarr, not for 8 years, but for a long enough period to have been involved in these discussions. I know the strategy and I know the people making the decisions. Not once have they ever considered what they are doing to people. They have lost the majority of leaders that I respected, so the decisions are being made by the 'leftover leaders" who don't give a hoot.....

juststrugglin 7 years, 5 months ago

You have nailed it! I also worked there for a couple of years. If you are not a leader in the special group, you will be booted out the door with the others. They do not treat employees with any concern to there lives. Yes they are in business to make money but they do not look ahead, now I work for a great company that does look ahead and they do take care of their employees!

Stephen Roberts 7 years, 5 months ago

Once again, for you all you know it alls, if you know how to do it better tell management or start your own business. It is time for people top start taking control of their own carrers but that might not work here because too many people want the governme nt to take care of them.

youarewhatyoueat 7 years, 5 months ago

In a corporate environment, the management you directly deal with as an employee is only given so much say in conditions. At some places, such as where I work, the management can and does make a huge difference and is granted wiggle room. At other places, their hands are tied by so much corporate red tape, with such a long chain of command, they're usually walking a fine line in keeping their own jobs. It all depends on for whom you work.

Regarding Amarr specifically, were these people laid off hired on as temporary workers with the possibility of staying permanent, or were they workers who've put in significant time with the company?

Sue McDaniel 7 years, 5 months ago

I too worked there for a short time and it is a awful place to work. Pays decent for Lawrence but that doesn't say much. Everyone I knew there is now gone, so I don't think I am the only one.

Kyle Reed 7 years, 5 months ago

Bwahahaha...this may be the dumbest thing I've ever heard. We're just supposed to take your word for it because you heard it from "one of the higer ups"? WTF does that mean anyway? Your buddy Bob that loads trucks is not a "higher up".

Shut up and quit trying to spread rumors.

juststrugglin 7 years, 5 months ago

Don't think its a rumor when Delbert is trying to sell his share of the company. You might want to check in to that. Not a rumor when he openly admits that while at the plant. Head of HR leaves because she is for warned about the possiblity of closing. Hate to see people get laid off from any job due to things that are not in their control. Business is business but it still hurts.

DaVille 7 years, 5 months ago

That's crazy talk... I used to work for Amarr.. and they're not perfect by far. But most places I've worked (in manufacturing plants) have good supervisors and bad supervisors. But I do know that Amarr is privately owned. We learned that the 1st day... it's family owned. So Delbert has no "share" to sell. I knew the Head of HR, and have seen her since she left... she is now Head of HR for the KC Chiefs. So maybe juststrugglin would stay at Amarr if you had a job for the Chiefs come up, but nobody else in the right mind would! So the "facts" you are speaking are wack rumors that make no sense at all. Why would a company that slows down in the winter wait for their most productive time of year to close? I agree with Akreed!

kernal 7 years, 5 months ago

bamrocks, youse been listen' to dem voices in yer head again, ain't ya!

nowthetruth 7 years, 5 months ago

Obamarocks-your Obama does not rock! Stop the rumoring..... no way it would close.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

All companies getting tax abatements should be required to live up to their end of the deal.

Any elected officials who won't do that should be replaced with others who will.

black_butterfly 7 years, 5 months ago

60 days is not nearly enough time to find alternative employment in today's job market. I have several friends and some clients that work at Amarr. It is true that they don't care about their employees. It is almost as thought they don't care if people know this. They also will hire through temp agencies to avoid employees having full time status thus no benefits. I realize they are a business but you have to have some integrity to have a successful business. People have been complaining about how Amarr runs their factory for YEARS, and yet it is still going. People need jobs so they put up with it. It will be interesting to see if they do infact close down next year.

weluvbowling 7 years, 5 months ago

Hmmmm...imagine that! Why am I not surprised? Oh, wait, that's because my husband worked there for 5 years. Poor management and mistreatment of employees (like ripping away benefits from hourly employees each week) tends to make for a bad workplace. I definitely agree that with the tax abatements that they continue to receive they should be checked out thoroughly.

And as far as moving their production to Mexico??? Are you a freaking moron? If anything the owner would go down to one production facility and that would probably be right there in NC where he could keep a close on it. SHEESH! Some people! rolls eyes

gatekeeper 7 years, 5 months ago

Amarr already has operations in Mexico. Wouldn't be a far stretch of the imagination for them to shut down US plants and send that work to Mexico since they're already established there. They used to have their wood doors made in Monterrey. Not hard to move a production facility back there.

weluvbowling 7 years, 5 months ago

I really doubt that Brenner would move all operations to Mexico but then I have been wrong before! Atleast I can admit that!

Kyle Reed 7 years, 5 months ago

There was never an Amarr producation facility in Mexico. The wooden carriage house doors were purchased from a manufacturer there but that has since changed. The only "operations in Mexico" are a door center there.

Feeding into moronic rumors doesn't do anybody any good.

gatekeeper 7 years, 5 months ago

Not feeding moronic rumors. Just putting out there what's on Amarr's website. They state on their website that the facility in Mexico IS THEIR OWN FACILITY.

"Amarr, one of the world’s leading designers, manufacturers and distributors of garage doors and door access systems, will convert the production of wood carriage house doors from Amarr’s own facility in Monterrey, Mexico to U.S.-based Carriage House Door Company. The Monterrey plant will cease production in September 2008 but the Amarr Monterrey distribution center will continue to operate."

rhd99 7 years, 5 months ago

Losing a job in this economy SUCKS! I've heard the tiresome cliche of "it's better to be laid off than fired" many times. I was laid off. Unlike Amarr (please understand I never worked for them), my former employer was good to me during my almost 10 years with them. Great pay and benefits. The problem was that it was tied to the government. When the government had nothing more, that was it. So, if anyone reading this thinks I am totally insensitive to the people losing their jobs at Amarr, I know what it's like. I hold NO grudges against my former employer because the job was completed. For anyone associated with Amarr, however, I wish them nothing but the best and hope they can find a brighter future.

KUFREAKYGIRL 7 years, 5 months ago

I will be first to say how Amarr work's! They DO treat their employee's like crap! My Mom used to work there, she worked there for 11 year's with perfect attendance. She ran one of the press machines, and she did a hell of a job! Never complained, did what she was supposed to do. She loved her job, and loved the people she worked with. But as time went on, so did the hours. She would work 12 hours a day, 6 day's a week, because business was booming. These employees had to do that for month's on end, and in the summer time. No AC, no additional breaks for when it got to hot in there. I also know the Owner, seems like a nice guy, and I am not to sure if he is aware of all that is really going on there! My Mom asked so many times to be removed off the press because the pain of pivoting 8-12,000 times a day was getting to her, they never would take her off of it because she ran the press real good. And because of that reason, she had to have knee surgery, and she was brought back to light duty, put her in Hardware, and was escorted out of the building because, they didnt have anything for her to do that was "Light Duty"! So Thank's Amarr for putting my Mom through Hell in the last 2 years and droping her Insurance for YOUR Mistake!

JackMcKee 7 years, 5 months ago

and for you lucky Amarr employees, your Christmas bonus is...Your Fired!!!!!

Merry Christmas!!!! And Happy New Year!!!!

budwhysir 7 years, 5 months ago

I think this weather we are having is just horrible....

amesn 7 years, 5 months ago

My husband started working at Amarr a few weeks ago but was hired on through Aerotech...he is hoping they will eventually bring him on full time and after reading this article last night we are hopeful that this may come true since he made it through Monday and Tuesday without being laid off, THEN we came to the comments section....I know there is definately some truth to what people have been posting because he has experienced it first hand, but after struggling for the past 9 months to find full time employment after he was laid off by a local booze delivery company, we are truly thankful he has a paycheck. I am a nurse so in my field jobs are easy to come by, but his expertise lies with having a commercial driver's license. Of course there was always the option for him to go OTR trucking but we have 3 small children that would miss their daddy very much. Although having a stay at home dad who is domestically inclined was a very sweet deal for me the past few months, the extra income he is now bringing home is much appreciated!

go4it55 7 years, 5 months ago

Its a paycheck - that is certain. Beware - unless you are a brown noser - or suck-up to the right people - you won't be there for long

thefactsare 7 years, 5 months ago

Why would any company, either in Lawrence or looking to move to Lawrence ever want to do that after reading the horrible comments that are posted on every business section blog? Company owners would not want to be subjected to this type of treatment and I don't blame them for choosing communities that are more welcoming and friendly!

deec 7 years, 5 months ago

Yes heaven forfend laborers use their first amendment rights to discuss actual working conditions at taxpayer-subsidized jobs. Wouldn't want to hurt the poor corporation's feelings.

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