Cable sheds more jobs

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23 to be laid off next month


General Cable confirmed Tuesday morning that 23 employees will be laid off July 13.

Once the county’s largest private employer with nearly 300 workers, General Cable has been shedding jobs for the past several years. This latest reduction, which includes 19 hourly employees, leaves the company with 103 workers, according to Lisa Lawson, General Cable’s vice president of corporate communications.

The company has struggled in recent years as telecommunications companies move away from traditional cable products.

Lawson said that, coupled with a weak economy, is the cause for this latest round of job cuts.

“Basically it’s not new news,” she said. “There is just a lessoning demand for telecommunications products.”

News of the reduction had been rumored for several days as displaced workers told family and friends of the pending layoffs.

Judge-Executive Steve Cornish said having that news confirmed Tuesday is tough.

“You hate to hear of any of the factories having to cut back and lay people off,” Cornish said. “You really feel for the people who were laid off, especially under these economic conditions.”

The layoffs will add to Anderson’s growing unemployment rate, which has hovered near 10 percent this spring, according to statistics released by the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Cornish, who is also a non-voting member of the Lawrenceburg-Anderson County Economic Development Authority, said the agency has focused its efforts in part on helping local factories to retain the jobs they already have in the face of the ongoing economic downturn.

“I’m sure this is going to be a great concern to the economic development folks,” he said. “I’m sure it will be a topic of conversation at their next meeting, and if there is anything economic development can do, I dare say they will do it.”

Lawson said the plant will close as normal July 3 for a paid holiday, and be closed through July 13 for its annual summer break.

Last year, the plant closed for two weeks instead of its traditional one-week break.

The company’s website reports that net sales fell by $115 million during the first quarter of 2009, nearly 10 percent on a metal-adjusted basis.

The company’s operating income in the quarter slipped from $111.4 million to $87.8 million, a decrease of 21.2 percent.

That loss was primarily due to unfavorable changes in foreign currency translation rates, lower overall demand, lower capacity utilization and a intensely competitive environment, according to www.generalcable.com.

E-mail Ben Carlson at bcarlson@theandersonnews.com.