Shaw Industries plans layoffs

photo Staff photo by Jake Daniels Shaw Industries, based in Dalton, Ga., is a leading maker of floorcovering.

Shaw Industries plans to lay off workers in Ringgold and Eton, Ga., but officials with the Dalton-based carpet maker won't say exactly how many employees they'll be sending home.

"Shaw continues to align and consolidate its manufacturing resources in response to market demand," Al Scruggs, director of human resources, said in an email. "We have made some recent reductions in Ringgold and Eton. We anticipate having positions available at other Shaw facilities for those who are interested in staying with the company."

Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the parent company of Shaw Industries, reported that earnings from Shaw and other housing related manufacturers fell in the second quarter.

"While revenues in 2011 from the building products group increased over 2010, these businesses, generally, continue to be negatively impacted by slow construction activity, particularly in the single-family housing markets," the company reported in its latest quarterly earnings report.

Staff members at the Georgia Department of Labor said they had not received any notice of layoffs from Shaw by the close of business Wednesday. Federal regulations would require Shaw to file a notice and give workers 60 days warning if the layoff closed a plant, or included 500 workers or one-third of its workforce.

The department did have records from when Shaw laid off 302 workers at a Chatsworth, Ga., plant in April.

In Ringgold, the floor-covering giant operates a hardwood flooring plant near Exit 345 on Interstate 75 and a warehouse near the Catoosa County water plant.

In December 2009, Catoosa commissioners agreed to delay taxes and guarantee a sewer project to keep the Shaw laminate plant in Ringgold.

In June 2009, Shaw announced it would consolidate operations from its Algona, Wash., laminate plant to the Ringgold facility.

"Project Tiger," the county's code name for the incentives package, was to forgive taxes on $12 million in new equipment for five years.

The county also agreed to run sewer lines to the site, which had been planned for some time.

Shaw spokesman Susan Rich couldn't identify how many jobs are being cut.

"The key point is that we are making other jobs available to all associates that are interested in moving facilities," she said.

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