New Kennametal plant owner unsure how many workers will remain

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 10:51 AM
Last updated Thursday, July 23, 2009 8:07 AM
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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 Top-Eastern Drill Co., said today 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,” he said.

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Nammy3
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Nammy3 07/22/09 - 11:18 am
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Sad to see. All the best to

Sad to see. All the best to you guys.

ladyjanegrey
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ladyjanegrey 07/22/09 - 11:31 am
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Are we stimulated yet?

Are we stimulated yet?

jimbobob
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jimbobob 07/22/09 - 11:35 am
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I work at a plant right now

I work at a plant right now in the process of moving all of our equipment to Brazil. Everyone except two maintenance men gone. Stimulus too late for us.

zippy
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zippy 07/22/09 - 12:05 pm
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All this stimulas talk is

All this stimulas talk is worhtless. The whole idea is misguided and will not work as currently structured. What should happen to both help those who are out of work and help those businesses who are hurting is to fund workers through the state departments of labor. Instead of "giving" or "loaning" a business money and at the same time "paying" unemployed people while they are not working, just "pay" the unemployed to work for needy businesses without cost to the business. Then limit the amout of time the business can have a "free" employee to one year and give them the option to "hire" the employee. We can use the normal unemployement money to get these people in a job, help the companies stay afloat and create opportunites and experience for the unemployed all in one process. It sure beats people sitting aroung, doing nothing while getting their "check" while businesses are closing because they cant make payroll.

LWEST
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LWEST 07/22/09 - 12:08 pm
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This is awful.

This is awful.

Rose
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Rose 07/22/09 - 12:32 pm
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im at my moms this is

im at my moms this is snakeypete i used to work at this plant and the people up in kennametal management are all crooks and they sold out to the chinese and left there fellow americans without jobs they should be charged with treason.

mad_max
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mad_max 07/22/09 - 12:34 pm
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If you think we have layoffs

If you think we have layoffs and are "moving all of our equipment to Brazil" now, wait and see what happens if Cap and Trade are approved. The taxes on energy will drive all manufacturing to China, India, Brazil, and almost any other third world country. This is the most counterintuitive administration I have ever seen. Enormous taxes on energy do not make the economy better. Nobody in their right mind can really think that putting more taxes on businesses will actually make the economy better. Taking a good healthcare system that has a few problems and making it a crappy healthcare system where no one gets good care makes no sense either. People complain about the "Bush mess" but we actually had a great economy for 6 years under Bush. Just like we had a great economy in the last part of the Reagan administration after he cleaned up the "Carter mess". Which, oh by the way, we got into because Carter had the same financial mentatlity of Comrade Obama. Obama and Pelosi have already placed our future in jeopardy with the failed "stimulus" package and are determined to drive more nails in the coffin with Cap and Trade and Universal Healthcare. Things can get worse than Bush ever was.

storiesihaveread
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storiesihaveread 07/22/09 - 12:35 pm
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Sad very sad. I feel for the

Sad very sad. I feel for the employees I am under the same gun wondering when and if it will happen to me. This downward trend has got to come to a stop and fast, I just do not see it happening though. With Obama pulling us deeper into debt

Philo-Publis
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Philo-Publis 07/22/09 - 12:50 pm
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This was dirty business

This was dirty business politics pure and simple. Kennametal used the economy as an excuse to bleed the Evans plant of what they wanted then dump us off to the highest bidder (Chinese in this case). We saw the writing on the wall years ago. Don't get me wrong, Obama is killing the economy, but this case was more about corporate greed than a presidential administration's policy. At least I was part of the first wave of layoffs last month and got a severance package.

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 07/22/09 - 01:48 pm
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Philo, you nailed a lot of

Philo, you nailed a lot of the problems we now face with two words: corporate greed. I say that even though I am a commited capitalist and definitely a political conservative. Capitalism, just like democracy, just won't work if you don't have a moral, responsible citizenry, especially when it comes to those in leadership. Too many in those roles decided to enrich themselves without taking adequate, or sometimes even reasonable, care of the people making money for them, just like the labor unions have done. And like all situations where the support structure is undermined or eaten away, the whole thing is caving in on itself. Small business owners aside, there are some extremely evil people looting America, and that includes a lot of politicians who have made themselve wealthy instead of serving their constituents. Payback really is going to Hell.

LaTwon
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LaTwon 07/22/09 - 02:01 pm
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if only we could outsource

if only we could outsource the federal parasite.............

walrus4ever
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walrus4ever 07/22/09 - 02:24 pm
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I used to work there years

I used to work there years ago and this flip companies strategy has been a part of this company sine TRW had it years ago. A steady decline in the quality of employment for decades at this place. I wont buy Greenfield cutting tools in the future if they are to evolve into the cheap Chinese crap that floods the market. Another case of investors buying powerful old brand names and using it to market junk.

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 07/22/09 - 10:36 pm
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The only thing Obama has

The only thing Obama has helped is to keep more people on welfare longer, living in section 8 longer and if they want a raise, they just need to go have another child. On the other hand, those with real jobs who work daily to support all of those who don't have to take drug tests, remain alcohol free at work, etc. in order to keep their jobs. How about a mandatory drug/alcohol test when you pick up your welfare payment or section 8 rent payment. I am all for helping those laid off because they have been working and deserver our help in the short term but for those who don't seek other work, sit at home drinking or doing drugs, etc. - these people need to get a life and get off of the govt. dole but unfortunately, Obama is making life so easy for them by enabling them, they could care less.

themaninthemirror
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themaninthemirror 07/23/09 - 08:24 am
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Asiitisinaug- You are so

Asiitisinaug- You are so correct. Obama has no intentions of creating jobs for America. Everything he has done or will do is to make Americans become dependent on government. Obama cares very little for the opinion of America as has been witnessed recently in this healthcare debacle. I was ridng through a low income section of town with a friend of mine one day, and he made the comment," I had to take a pee test at work today to keep my job so that these people can keep their government housing."How true.

ast306
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ast306 07/23/09 - 10:18 am
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I hate to say this, but some

I hate to say this, but some employees at the Evans plant will read this artical in the paper and think that TDC is going to keep production going as normal. They need to read between the lines. If TDC does keep some operations going, It will only be long enough to satisfy some previous customers orders. And you better believe that all of us employees that remain will be contract employees with no insurance, and less pay. I think it was wrong of TDC to talk to the press first about their plans to move forward without talking to the EVANS employees first.

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