05 May Plant closings, layoffs means heavy lifting for IT departments
Like a tank, the recession continues to roll right over companies. Take Fleetwood Enterprises. Vacation trailers and modular houses don’t sell when people are out of work and struggling with upside-down mortgages. Even if someone wants to buy, banks have clamped down on credit, making loans scarce. Fleetwood’s sales have plummeted 32 percent from a high of US$2.4 billion in 2006, and the company has lost $119 million along the way.
So last summer, like many manufacturers, Fleetwood scaled back factory production. That wasn’t enough, so Fleetwood is now going after big cuts. Before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month, the company had plans to close nine of its 27 factories in the United States and Mexico and lay off 760 of its 5,700 employees.
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