Joy Global to temporarily close unit affecting 113 workers

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

Sept. 30, 2015

MILWAUKEE — Joy Global informed the state Wednesday that it will temporarily close one of its units operating in Milwaukee, resulting in 109 union employees being temporarily laid off and four non-union employees being terminated beginning Nov. 30.

In its letter to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Joy Global said it does not know how long the operating unit called Original Equipment will be closed or how long the layoffs will last. In a statement, the company said the decision was a result of challenging commodities markets. The layoffs primarily affect people working in the Milwaukee heavy fabrication and welding department.

“At this time, the company is unable to estimate when the operating unit will start up. We assure you that all laid off and terminated employees will be paid all earned wages and agreed-upon fringe benefits upon being laid off or terminated,” according to the letter.

The affected Joy global union employees are represented by the United Steelworkers Union and its affiliated Local Union, Local 1114.

The temporary idling will not affect all areas of Milwaukee manufacturing for Joy Global, including its machinery and motor shops, distribution center and other departments.

“Given the challenging mining market and the lower demand for products, we have to temporarily adjust some of our manufacturing operations to account for foreseeable workloads,” said John Koetz, president of surface mining for Joy Global, in a statement. “We are doing everything we can to help our employees manage this news and prepare for the temporary layoffs to come.”

Joy Global has been supplying the mining industry for more than 130 years and is known for providing direct service, as well as equipment and products for the global mining industry.