From Associated Press via Detroit Free Press
BATTLE CREEK, MI — Auto supplier Johnson Controls Inc. is seeking new business to prevent layoffs and avert a possible plant closure.
Unless the situation changes soon, 81 people would be laid off Nov. 15, when the Battle Creek, Mich., plant goes from two shifts to one. The remaining 100 employees could lose their jobs by the end of the year if no new business is found.
Johnson Controls is moving its production of Mercedes-Benz molded door trim panels from Battle Creek to a plant in Alabama that has the right technology for the new panels.
“The plant today is producing basically one product,” said company spokesman Bill Dawson. “As the product phases out, employees are phased out as well.”
The company is looking for a new reason to keep the Battle Creek plant open, he said.
“We met with our employees, and we’re going to keep them informed. We’re looking very aggressively at new business opportunities at the plant,” Dawson told the Battle Creek Enquirer for a report Friday. “We hope to make some progress there.”
If new business is found, the November layoffs could be temporary, he said.
In March, Johnson Controls announced it was cutting nearly 900 jobs in Holland, Mich., in connection to the transfer of sun visor production to Mexico.
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