Masland lays off 60 employees

Published 5:08 pm Monday, November 7, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
Approximately 60 employees of the Masland Carpet Atmore Division were laid off last week as part of restructuring by The Dixie Group to accommodate future growth of the company.
Dixie Group, Masland's parent company, made the decision in November 2003 to begin production of Dixie Home products in the Atmore plant, which allowed the company to take advantage of manufacturing assets already in the facility. The decision was made once the sale of Dixie's North Georgia operations were completed.
"As the fast growing Dixie Home brand was moved into the facility, the Masland commercial and residential brands also began to exceed growth expectations," Tom Browning, vice president of manufacturing at Masland, said. "The result was a dramatic increase in production demand, which exceeded the capacity of the facility to produce and sustain required customer service levels. Unfortunately, the combined growth of the three businesses, within a short period of time, resulted in a level of complexity that could not be sustained."
A decision was recently made to begin production of Dixie Home carpet in North Georgia, which eliminated the jobs of those laid off.
"It ensures that our manufacturing plants provide the required service level that allows our company to remain competitive and to continue to grow," Browning said.
With the decision to relocate Dixie Home production, Masland was forced to realign its workforce accordingly. Masland is now made up of three divisions, residential, contract and rug.
"Although the reduction in our workforce is regrettable, it is necessary to allow our Atmore facility to once again focus on the support of the Masland brands, and the continued commitment to lowering our costs in order for those brands to remain competitive," Browning said. "Masland remains a strong brand in the marketplace with considerable opportunities for continued growth."
According to Browning, the majority of affected associates were new hires with fewer than 90 days of employment. They will be eligible for re-hire as future needs arise.

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