Kennametal to start layoffs at Carbidie plant; 60 workers impacted in closure |
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Joe Napsha

Kennametal Inc. will begin laying off its 60 workers from its Carbidie plant in Hempfield in October and continue through the end of March 2020, when the plant will close, according a notice the company filed with the state.

Kennametal, an industrial toolmaker with corporate offices in Unity, recently notified the state Department of Labor and Industry of the pending closure of its plant along Arona Road, as required under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. The federal law requires companies of a certain size to provide employees with a 60-day notice of a mass layoff or closure.

The company on July 11 announced that the Carbidie plant would be closing, along with two plants and a distribution center in Germany, as part of a corporate-wide restructuring. Kennametal had been in negotiations this spring with the United Steelworkers union over the possible shutdown of the plant. Officials from Kennametal and the USW have declined to comment on those talks.

At the time of the announcement, Kennametal was working with the USW to ensure the company supported affected employees with severance and outplacement services as necessary.

“If there are relocation opportunities, we are considering those as well,” Christina Sutter, a Kennametal spokeswoman, said in a statement.

Kennametal acquired the Carbidie plant from Greenfield Industries in 1997. Carbidie was founded in Latrobe in 1953 as a company that made high-quality carbide sections held to a specified tolerance, according to Kennametal. Carbidie products became an important component of tools that manufacturers used to make consumer and industrial products, including razor blades, baby diapers, bandages, pharmaceuticals, soda can tabs, bricks, ceramic roof tiles and electrical motors.

Kennametal CEO Christopher Rossi may provide information about the plant closing on Tuesday when he discusses the company’s earnings for the April-through-June quarter with analysts in a conference call.

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