Originally created 12/15/04

Textile plant lays off 35 workers



ATHENS, Ga. - The Christmas season lost some of its merriment and brightness Monday for a number of employees with the Voyles Road Invista plant in Athens.

Managers notified about 35 employees at the textile manufacturing facility that their jobs were eliminated, effective immediately.

Representatives with the Athens operation could not be reached for comment Monday.

The layoffs represent a 12 percent work force reduction from the 300-plus employees at Invista, which formerly operated as DuPont. Corporate officials said in a news release issued Monday that the layoffs were needed to "maintain the site's competitiveness."

Basically, the layoffs were made to provide cost savings, an Invista official said.

The Athens plant has been in operation since 1973 and involves two divisions that make "nonwoven" products using nylon fibers. A flooring business blends three or four yarns for the commercial carpet industry; the apparel division "beams" yarn for use by fabric mills for weaving into clothing.

Invista informed plant personnel a week ago that cuts were coming but did not announce the elimination of specific jobs until Monday, company spokeswoman Erica Luongo said. The permanent cuts involved people on the production lines, she said.

Laid-off workers were offered severance packages, she said.

Invista officials contacted the state Department of Labor's Athens Career Center on Friday to tell officials about the impending layoffs, center Director Mike Ingram said.