WARNs are becoming all too common across the state, thanks in large part to falling oil prices.
According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, in recent weeks four more employers issued Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notifications: the Hexion Inc. facility in Norco, two Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas divisions in New Orleans, the Offshore Specialty Fabricators facility in Houma and the Martin Mills distribution center in Vidalia.
On April 28, Hexion issued a WARN announcing the closure of its facility in Norco, resulting in 97 employees losing their jobs. The layoffs will begin in July and will continue for the next few years.
Freeport McMoRan Oil & Gas announced layoffs at two of its New Orleans divisions due to declining commodity prices and global economic conditions. A total of 32 employees will be laid off from the two facilities.
Offshore Specialty Fabricators issued a WARN on May 2 to announce a mass layoff beginning July 5 that will affect 67 employees who were originally furloughed in March. The company hopes to gain new contracts to avoid this layoff.
On Wednesday, Martin Mills announced the permanent closure of its Vidalia Distribution Center, resulting in 167 employee layoffs scheduled to begin July 10.
Last year 36 WARNs were issued, and so far this year 20 have already been filed with the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
Companies are required to file WARNs under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act if there is a full plant closure resulting in 50 or more employees losing their jobs in any 30-day period or if there is a mass layoff during any 30-day period. A layoff is considered a mass layoff if it is more than 500 employees or if it is between 50 and 499 employees and comprises 33 percent or more of the active workforce at that particular site.