Morrow Temporarily Closes Factory
Company plans to re-hire whole staff in six weeks.
By John Stouffer
"It's a business move," says Morrow CEO Blair Mullin, of the company's
decision to close its factory for six weeks during the holidays, from December 15 to February 1. "We're running further ahead of production this year than we have been in the past, our samples are done for the trade shows, and almost a third of our factory employees had requested a long break over the holidays," he says.
So the Morrow management decided that instead of running a skeleton crew
through the holiday season, they'd just shut down the facility instead. But the temporary lay-off of 115 people quickly became a rumor that Morrow was in deep financial crisis and possibly going out of business. That's as far from the truth as possible, Mullin adds.
"The line our product managers have come up with for next year is the best
I've ever seen and I'm excited about the future of the company," he says.
Although the company won't be paying salaries for the employees for six
weeks, Mullen says that there won't be a major savings to the bottom line. "When we start back up [manufacturing], we'll be running full bore, and in some areas, overtime," he says.
In the meantime, Morrow has assured the workers that it intends to hire back
everyone, and even had the state unemployment agency come in to process the paperwork so the affected employees could collect unemployment insurance during the six-week period. It also had a temp agency come in and offer to place individuals in jobs during the period, if any are available.
Although the factory is shut down, Morrow still has more than 60 employees
working full time in shipping, receiving, customer service, product development, sales, and all front office activities.
"We had a general employee meeting last week and we got a lot of positive
feedback," says Mullin. "This was a prudent business decision and we're trying to make the company as healthy as possible.
For now, its business as normal for all Morrow customers, while things will
be back up and running in the factory by February 1.
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