Kennametal owner: All 153 in layoff notice won't be jobless

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The new owner of the former Kennametal plant in Evans is unsure how many workers will be retained after Aug. 30.

Kennametal filed a mass layoff notice with Georgia saying 153 people will be laid off after that date, but that doesn't necessarily mean they will be unemployed.

Dale Erkkila, a vice president with plant owner Top-Eastern Drill Co., said Wednesday that some of those employees will be hired by his company after an ownership transition period ends.

"As part of our agreement with Top-Eastern, Kennametal agreed to maintain approximately 150 selected Evans facility employees on a leased basis to Top-Eastern as they determine the best strategy for integration of the business moving forward," said Christina Reitano, a Kennametal corporate communications manager.

Mr. Erkkila said his company is "in the process of judging people's interest in staying on and seeing how much of the production we want to keep doing in Evans.

"It would just be irresponsible for me to try to predict a number. I think there's a chance a fair amount could either come into our company or perhaps there may be some type of contract work," he said.

The name of the plant at 470 Old Evans Road has changed to Greenfield Industries Inc. The division of Top-Eastern Drill already employs 135 people, Mr. Erkkila said, though most of those workers are in Clemson, S.C., a plant also purchased last month from Kennametal.

Top-Eastern Drill paid $29 million to acquire a Kennametal drill line and the rights to production facilities in Clemson, Evans, Mexico City; and Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

Mr. Erkkila said Top-Eastern Drill "does not want to shut down production in Evans" and the company is trying to make the plant profitable. He said, however, that the company is moving some production in Evans to Clemson to improve efficiency.

"There probably will be layoffs, not a significant amount, but we're trying to make efficiencies. Some things will move up to Clemson, and some of those (Evans) employees will probably come up to Clemson also," Mr. Erkkila said. "There's lot of great people here. We like them a lot, so we're going to do what we can. We have every plan to keep continuing on and keep as many people employed as financially makes sense. It's a very talented, very experienced workforce. It's one of the reasons our company was interested."

Plant employees would not comment when approached in the parking lot Wednesday afternoon, saying that they have been instructed not to speak to the media.

"We feel for the families that will be affected by this. And we hope that the impact would not be as great as it could be," said Troy Post, executive director of the Development Authority of Columbia County. "At this point, we don't know how severe the impact will be."

Mr. Post said there was discussion Wednesday morning during the authority's monthly meeting of Kennametal filing its Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice with Georgia.

He said there has been some outreach to the new ownership through his office and the county commissioners. The state has also been in contact, Mr. Post said, to offer support.

"We know some firms are going to go through a period of downsizing and restructuring. That's what is going on nationally and globally," Mr. Post said. "Our hope is that in the end we will still have firms that will keep a presence here, that they will still have some role to play in the local economy."

Reach LaTina Emerson at (706) 823-3227 or latina.emerson@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (61) Add comment
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Nammy3
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Nammy3 07/23/09 - 02:39 am
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Again, good luck ya'll.

Again, good luck ya'll.

xanadu
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xanadu 07/23/09 - 10:08 am
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Another foreign business

Another foreign business takes over an American business. The sucking sound continues.

NoExpertsNeeded
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NoExpertsNeeded 07/23/09 - 02:42 pm
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Job loss...Been there. Done

Job loss...Been there. Done that. Yep, still 'there'. My heart goes out to those still getting 'pinked'.

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I'll share with you what I was told the day I got "set free" (laid off) from my job: "This is a new chapter in your life. WRITE ONE HELL OF A CHAPTER!" And I did just that! Will you?

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coolette
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coolette 07/23/09 - 05:28 pm
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I heard from a reliable

I heard from a reliable source that the plant was closing! No jobs would stay at that plant!

bumblebeerose
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bumblebeerose 07/24/09 - 12:08 pm
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Well since none of the

Well since none of the employees at the plant are wearing the new Greenfield badge except FM that should tell us all something. Then we do not know what the transition period is, they may not be able to hire us yet. Who knows.

sharpshooter
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sharpshooter 07/24/09 - 02:55 pm
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Just about every company,

Just about every company, corporation, or manufacturer in the USA is foreign owned. Take a look at the fortune 500 list and see that person's company and nationality.

bumblebeerose
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bumblebeerose 07/24/09 - 03:04 pm
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America does not own America

America does not own America any more. We are owned by Foreign Countries and have been for along time.

corgimom
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corgimom 07/24/09 - 05:16 pm
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They refuse to commit to any

They refuse to commit to any kind of number- that means that only a few people, if any, will be hired for full-time work, the rest will be hired as temps with no benefits. And when they temp people, they are no longer obligated to comply with the mass layoff notice. As for a chance, think snowballs and hot places, and you'll be in the ballpark. They've already moved equipment; when that happens, then you know that closing is inevitable.

dodger
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dodger 07/24/09 - 10:42 pm
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How do you know wey've

How do you know wey've already moved equipment? We haven't stated on the forum that they already have. Hmmmm.
Bumblebeerose, what do you think?
Out dang Spot (or Rover...or Duke...whatever)!
Billy Shakespear again

datruth123
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datruth123 07/24/09 - 11:27 pm
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Why is it the augusta

Why is it the augusta chronicle thinks jobs will be saved, but the folks that work at the plant do not??? sounds like some PR BS to me...they had a meeting and told us ALL production was going to Clemson and they haven't told us anything different....just trying to keep the folks calm untill the ax comes down

bumblebeerose
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bumblebeerose 07/25/09 - 02:43 pm
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Dodger someone on the inside

Dodger someone on the inside or contacts on the inside or just a person who has walked those shoes and is still mad and can not let it go. For us at Evans the thing to be mad at is being lied to by TDC but what goes around comes around. We all know you reap what you sow. It will come home to them.

dodger
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dodger 07/25/09 - 08:25 pm
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You are right. You can't do

You are right. You can't do people wrong and get away with it. Of course that doesn't help you this instant, but you are right. It will come around to them.

bumblebeerose
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bumblebeerose 07/25/09 - 10:12 pm
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Dodger that is ok, what will

Dodger that is ok, what will happen to them when all is said and down will be worse than what has happened to us. Lived and learned this one. I can not stay mad at TDC it will eat me alive and they are not worth the energy. Some how some way it will all work out if it is meant to. I refuse to stress over what I can not control. So lets have fun picking at each other to relieve the stress. Water heater working ok still?

dodger
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dodger 07/26/09 - 12:21 am
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Yeah the water heater is

Yeah the water heater is doing great. I have a few stiff joints from dragging one out and the new one in, but it sure feels great to be able to do it for myself. It also feels great that I didn't tear up the new one getting it done.

dodger
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dodger 07/26/09 - 12:24 am
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Hey I read that a few years

Hey I read that a few years back Charlie B's reopened as a buffet. Too bad! I remember when they still had curb service and GREAT frog legs. I used to eat there right often and loved it. Great tartar sauce.

bumblebeerose
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bumblebeerose 07/26/09 - 10:37 am
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What is Charlie B's? I have

What is Charlie B's? I have no clue but I really do not get out that much.

dodger
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dodger 07/26/09 - 11:27 am
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That used to be a great place

That used to be a great place to eat. It was kind of a landmark.

corgimom
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corgimom 07/26/09 - 01:39 pm
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Dodger, it has been stated on

Dodger, it has been stated on the blog that equipment has been moved to increase efficiencies in the Clemson plant. If you didn't read that, that's your problem. I've never set foot in the Kennemetal plant, I don't know anyone that works there, I dont't know any of the management, I'm not Fred or FM, but if it makes you feel better to think that I'm an employee, fine. I'm now a kindergarten volunteer because I'm a retired accounting manager, but whatever makes you happy, go for it.

bumblebeerose
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bumblebeerose 07/26/09 - 02:25 pm
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Where is it at?

Where is it at?

corgimom
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corgimom 07/26/09 - 03:14 pm
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I think it's been deleted,

I think it's been deleted, you can delete any post you write. I went back and looked for it too, but I didn't see it. However, I do know that when a company says they are moving production to Clemson, equipment will be moved, because how else could you move production?

iluvcollardgreens
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iluvcollardgreens 07/26/09 - 04:16 pm
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I was laid off too.

I was laid off too.

iluvcollardgreens
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iluvcollardgreens 07/26/09 - 04:25 pm
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that little elf from clemson

that little elf from clemson came down here and started beefing up the lies about how much better clemson was than evans.because he wouldn't want to have to relocate.That other little short guy fred is just like him they love the Chinese communist.wait till he gets all those machines up there in clemson and things don't work out right they will push them out the door by the shirt collar.Those Chinese aint gonna want them.that plant manager and Fred will be laid off in a year like everyone else.

iluvcollardgreens
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iluvcollardgreens 07/26/09 - 04:37 pm
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oh yea I tell you another

oh yea I tell you another thing I'm gonna go on you tube and write a bunch of bad stuff about kennametal.Of course the CEO isn't even American.I remember when i first met THE PLANT MANAGER MIKE he came over to my machines at the time and he was scared that it might come back on and hurt him.With the main power to the machine cut off.I reckon what im getting at here is he don't know nothing about no machine why dont that boy take his but back to Clemson.That Mike just dont want to have to relocate

iluvcollardgreens
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iluvcollardgreens 07/26/09 - 04:40 pm
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.

.

iluvcollardgreens
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iluvcollardgreens 07/26/09 - 04:51 pm
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And I heard what mike said

And I heard what mike said about y'all don't need to come on here and post.Well it sounds to me like if he's saying this he is starting to think like the Chinese.Cause see in America we have freedoms that something that little commie wana be mike and Fred don't recognize right now cause they done become backstabbing communist.

bumblebeerose
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bumblebeerose 07/26/09 - 04:57 pm
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Dodger where is it at?

Dodger where is it at?

Rose
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Rose 07/26/09 - 04:57 pm
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I heard that they also are

I heard that they also are refusing to pay 65% cobra and the employee pay 35%. The stimulus plan gives employers a tax break on that 65%.

Rose
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Rose 07/26/09 - 05:20 pm
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what they need to do is let

what they need to do is let the goverment confiscate the plant.from the chinese like they did that plant in england when the chinese bought it.

dodger
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dodger 07/26/09 - 06:12 pm
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You mean Charlie B's,

You mean Charlie B's, Bumblebeerose?

dodger
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dodger 07/26/09 - 06:13 pm
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If it's still there, it's on

If it's still there, it's on Wheeler Rd. I think.

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