The Roper plant in LaFayette on Monday announced it is laying off more than 250 workers.

Here is a written statement sent from the company late Monday afternoon:

“Due to a decline in customer demand for appliances, driven by the downturn in the housing industry and deteriorating economic conditions, Roper Corporation announced today that 258 employees will be placed on temporary lack of work in an effort to match employment levels with reduced production requirements.

“The action will be effective January 5, 2009. To help minimize the impact, Roper Corporation will ask for volunteers to take temporary lack of work. Employees affected by this action can be recalled, based upon seniority, if sales increase or new work is brought into the factory.

“To help affected employees with the transition, Roper Corporation will pay for employee’s health care and other insurance premiums for three months, and give employees the opportunity to pay for health care and insurance coverage for nine additional months at Roper Corp.’s employee rates. Affected Roper Corp. employees will also receive their 2009 vacation pay. In addition, employees will be eligible for unemployment benefits from the Georgia Department of Labor.

“GE Consumer & Industrial has invested $165 million in Roper Corporation since 2006, creating 225 new positions.

“Roper Corporation fully intends to be a part of Walker County and the North Georgia community in the future.

“Roper Corporation has been located in LaFayette, GA, since 1973. It currently employs approximately 1,500 people. Since 1988, Roper Corporation has been a wholly owned subsidiary of GE Consumer and Industrial based in Louisville, KY. The plant produces a variety of gas and electric cooking products under the GE, GE Profile, and Monogram brands.”

Last month Roper recently announced it had struck a deal  with Walker County to keep the plant operational, financially healthy, and profitable for at least the next 11 years.

Walker County Messenger