Gerdau Special Steel planning layoffs in April

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JACKSON, MI. (WILX) -- 140 of 400 employees at Gerdau Special Steel in Jackson will be laid off in “mid-April,” Lindsey Erb, Manager, Communications and Public Affairs of Gerdau said.

Layoffs were based on seniority and job qualifications.

“We will be doing everything we can to try and help them through this," Erb said.

The company has two facilities in Jackson: an office headquarters and a metal location.

People who will be laid off may be able to apply for other positions depending on seniority and job qualifications.

"I've already been looking at other jobs because I seen it coming," said Ryan Lounsbery, a mill mechanic.

Lounsbery said he is worried about his fellow co-workers' future.

"I'm just sad for the people that won't be able to find jobs," Lounsbery said. "For a lot of the people they won't be able to find the same income level that they were used to the last.." butted too "18, 19 years that just they won't be able to stay."

The company decided to lay employees off due to factors that affect “the long-term stability of the business,” Erb said.

Gerdau Special Steel has other mills in Monroe, Michigan and Fort Smith, Arkansas that will stay open.

The headquarters and finishing facility will stay in Jackson.

All employees who will be laid off were notified on Thursday.

"They shut down yesterday and they're going to start back up Monday," Lounsbery said. "Until April 15."

Workers were told they have the weekend off and will be paid for Thursday and Friday.

Michigan Works, a company that helps those who are unemployed, said they are working with Gerdau Special Steel during this transition.

"There's a process in place to get the employees what they need and still serve the employer," said Nicole Bell, communications manager of Michigan Works.

The organization said Gerdau employees are already coming in for help, but they're urging them to connect with their human resources before doing so.

"They offering how to write resumes," Lounsbery said. "Job placement stuff like that, but there's a lot of people that depend on the overtime that's not going to be there or never make the same amount of money."

Gerdau said it will do its best to support its employees through the transition and that they appreciate their employees' commitment.

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