Andersen Windows cuts office, management staffby Martin Moylan, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Andersen Corporation says it's cutting about 250 office and management jobs. The big window and door maker says the move reflect concerns that window and door sales could remain soft for another year.
About half the 250 job cuts will come in Minnesota. The layoffs come as something of a surprise, because the company has recalled all production workers laid off earlier in the year.
But Company spokeswoman Maureen McDonough said Andersen's sales aren't strong enough to support the company's current workforce of some 11,000, specifically at the administrative and management level.
"There is mounting evidence that housing demand will not recover until late 2010 or 2011 as a result of rising unemployment, escalating foreclosures, falling home prices, limited credit and weak consumer confidence," McDonough said. "This significantly reduces our opportunity to generate the level of sales needed to profitably support a company of this size."
Privately-held Anderson doesn't disclose its sales, however.
McDonough said she hopes the company can avoid any further job cuts.
"I'm hoping that this is the last time," she said. "I'm hoping we're sized correctly."
The company won't say how many production workers it now has overall, compared with a few years ago when the housing market was booming.
In January 2009, Andersen temporarily laid off nearly 600 production workers due to lower order volume. By the end of May, those employees had been called back. The company typically increases factory employment in the spring and summer, as demand for its products rises with warm weather.
But earlier this month, Andersen closed a Massachusetts window factory that employed about 300 people. And late last year it closed a North Carolina factory that had about 430 employees.
McDonough said Andersen seems to be getting somewhat of a sales kick from a federal stimulus program that encourages the purchase of new windows and other energy-efficient products. Buyers can get up to a $1,500 tax credit for eligible purchases. But McDonough said it is hard to measure the impact of the program.
Warroad-based Marvin Windows and Doors said it suspects it's getting a boost from the federal program. But it also said it can't really measure the benefit, given the usual seasonal rise in window and door sales.
Company spokesman John Kirchner said the housing market and economy remains very tough.
"Our sales remain down from last year and from years past certainly," Kirchner said. "We have done what we can, and we are prepared to weather this for months, if not for years if necessary."
Marvin employs about 5,300 workers nation-wide and 2,700 in Minnesota. The company has avoided job cuts by cutting employees' hours and pay rates and taking other actions.
- All Things Considered, 07/14/2009, 5:51 p.m.