Illinois Cement Company LLC, an Illinois-based private company under Masonry Cement, will remove around 96 plant workers at its manufacturing plant in La Salle, Illinois due to severe market conditions. The slated job cut is expected to be the first major layoff in the company’s plant in La Salle after operating in the area for more than 36 years. The layoffs began this week and will continue until the projected number of employees to be axed is reached. Illinois Cement currently employs around 110 workers at the La Salle headquarters.
Wayne Emmer, Illinois Cement President, expressed his sentiments over the layoffs. Emmer attributed the job cut to the poor market in the recent months. “Of course the situation is very regrettable. Market conditions are just very bad in construction related activities. The plant was building product much faster than the market could consume it.” Emmer added that the layoff is painful but the decision is inevitable. “Personally, I hate it. But it’s the nature of the market right now.”
In 2007, US used to consume about 130 million tons of Portland cement. However, the amount has dropped drastically in the past three years, triggering a series of layoffs in various companies in the cement industry. Now, the US consumption is recorded at about 88 million tons. Emmer said: “In the spring we expect sales to really pick up significantly, but what the Portland Cement Association and market indices are predicting is the coming year will be similar to the past year for consumption.”
Emmer noted that there is a big possibility that the axed workers will be recalled as early as March if the industry picks up in the coming weeks. However, if the poor market continue, another round of layoffs will follow.Illinois Cement to Cut 96 Workers by Harrison Barnes