Ansell Hawkeye announces layoffs

By Russell Hood
The Webster Progress-Times

Ansell Hawkeye is laying off 85 workers at its glove plant in Eupora,
which the company said could close permanently if it doesn’t obtain
more contracts.

Mark Lolley, associate director of operations, notified Eupora Mayor
Tommy Lott and Pat Cummings, president of the Webster County Board of
Supervisors, in a March 11 letter that Ansell is reducing production
staffing levels at the facility. Ansell leases the city-owned
building at 2985 E. Roane Ave.

“The layoff is expected to be permanent for many employees and
temporary for others,” Lolley wrote. “Depending on the facility’s
ability to obtain additional contracts, the layoff could convert to a
permanent shutdown of operations at the facility.”

The terminations are expected to commence May 9 and continue through
May 31, according to the letter. The positions and corresponding
number of employees potentially affected by the layoff, according to
an attached exhibit, are cutting operator, nine; inspector, 12;
packer, four; sewing operator, 56; and turner/former, four

Lolley stated Ansell was providing notice of its decision to the
extent that the federal Workers Adjustment and Retraining
Notification Act applies.

Supervisors voted Monday to spread a copy of the letter on the
minutes. Lott, who said he met with Lolley two weeks ago, related
that the plant is still working on its last government contract and
is seeking other-than government contracts. He said Ansell is moving
equipment to its Eupora headquarters from other satellite locations
that have already closed.

“It’s not definite that it will be closed,” Lott said Monday.

Formerly Hawkeye Glove, the company has been here since November 2003
as a primary contractor of gloves for the U.S. military. Ansell
bought the company in 2008. Ansell Hawkeye closed its production
facility and then-corporate headquarters in Fort Dodge, Iowa, last
May after 42 years of operation, eliminating 22 positions. The
company transferred remaining production and corporate functions to
Eupora.

A three-lane industrial access road connecting the parking lot behind
the plant to East Roane Avenue was just completed last year. The
federal/state-funded road was at least seven years in the making,
from grant application to completion.