By Craig Davison, LaPorte Herald-Argus
LA PORTE - Seventy to 80 employees of Aero Metals were laid off Thursday.
The layoffs are not permanent, said Jim Fleming, chief executive officer and owner.
Most of the company's customers have not canceled orders, but a number of their main clients have pushed back their orders, he said. Some customers are also scaling back the size of orders.
He could not rule out if more layoffs are pending because he does not know when the economy will improve. For the same reason, he cannot predict how long the workers will be off the job.
Fleming, who has been in the business 40 years, said the workforce was scaled back to match the orders. The company had almost 400 employees before the layoffs.
"We have to regulate the workforce to the size of the business we have that particular month," he said.
Employees' hours have also been reduced.
"We've still got a lot of work, and we've had a lot of people working," Fleming said.
Aero Metals manufactures metal castings for customers worldwide. Fleming said sales to customers in Europe, Canada and domestically have slowed.
"It's an economic slowdown, and it's big and it's worldwide," he said.
Fleming said the layoffs are difficult for him.
"We're trying very hard to get these people back to work," he said.