Shaw says holiday shutdowns could be longer this year


Dalton-based Shaw Industries said its normal holiday shutdowns may be longer this year, as the continued economic slowdown cuts into demand for its flooring products.

“We typically shut down our plants around the holidays and perform maintenance,” said Paul Richard, Shaw’s vice president of human resources. “This year, we will adjust our schedules to respond to the market place.”

Richard said the the shutdowns will not occur at every Shaw facility.

“Most of our manufacturing is in the Southeast, and some areas will be affected more than others,” he said in a telephone interview.

Richard said the company has not finalized its plans and has no aggregate numbers of how many jobs could be affected. “A lot depends on what is going on in the market place,” he said. “This is not a typical year for us, and the shutdowns may happen more than in years past.

“A lot depends on what is happening in our markets.”

Shaw plants in Gordon County employ 1,800 workers, according to Richard. About 1,000 of those are Gordon County residents, he said.

The company announced earlier this month that it would close permanently its spinning plant in Trenton, cutting 440 jobs. Also earlier this year, Shaw laid off 67 employees and closed its Ringgold carpet finishing department.

Shaw, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Co., manufactures a variety of floorings and has suffered as housing sales have slowed demand for its products. The company reported more than $5 billion in sales in 2007 and has 31,000 employees.

Article Courtsey of  the Calhoun Times

By John M. Willis