More job cuts in Northeast Wisconsin as a Brillion Foundry is forced to lay off 80 workers. Brillion Iron Works which makes products for semi trucks says they also will have to furlough other workers for two weeks.
The 80 laid off workers received their pink slips two weeks ago, just before other employees learned of a furlough that will last until early April. Brillion iron works blames the economy and problems with their industry. Rick Konrad/Union President says, "If there's no work, there's no work." Union President Rick Konrad still has his job at the foundry, but his two sons were part of the 80 layoffs. Rick Konrad/Union President says, "They're just getting along on unemployment and waiting for something to come up. They're looking, but there's not a lot of work out there." Eva Schmitz/Spokesperson says, "When the economy is down there is not as many heavy trucks on the road." The spokesperson for the foundry, Eva Schmitz explains the economy is to blame for those trucks traveling less, which in turn affects the foundry. Eva Schmitz/Spokesperson says, "The demand for replacement parts is down then the demand for the new trucks being built is down because they are not wearing out as quickly."
Rick Konrad/Union President says, "I understand the company is trying to make it through these times so that we can continue on when things pickup." When you combine the layoffs from last year and this week, the foundry is down about 265 employees. Rick Konrad/Union President says, "We're down to about 1/2 of our work force right now for a period of a little over a year. It's not like they have only taken out union people, they've laid off a lot of salaried people as well. They're hoping this last batch is short term, but time will tell." There is hope for the 80 laid off workers.... Brillion is adding new machinery for an upcoming operation which will add 50 jobs by the summer.