PLYMOUTH - It’s official - for now at least.
Whitley Products has officially filed notice as part of the Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) act that the company based in Warsaw, with plants in Plymouth and North Carolina will officially cease operations.
The notice filed on Tuesday, states that Whitley “...has decided to notify its employees that in light of its current financial situation Whitley will likely permanently cease its operations,” and that “...in the event of a cessation of operations all employees will be terminated.”
The document also states that Whitley expects their facilities to cease operations during the “...fourteen day period beginning on April 22, 2013 and ending on May 6, 2013, during which time all employees will be terminated.”
In January of 2011 the company obtained considerable tax incentives from the city of Plymouth and a very favorable lease arrangement from the Plymouth Industrial Development Corporation to expand its operations in the city.
Plymouth Mayor Mark Senter told the Pilot News on Wednesday afternoon that Clerk-Treasurer Toni Hutchings and City Attorney Sean Surrisi were already looking into what course of action the city may have regarding the tax matter. He also stated that he had received no notification of the company’s previous actions and had received only a courtesy notification of the WARN notice filing.
On Friday, Jan. 18 the company’s troubles began when workers were told to gather personal belongings, shut off machines and be out of the building by 1 p.m. At that time plant officials in Plymouth blamed the confusion on a supplier problem that was rectified and workers returned to their jobs that following Monday.
On Jan. 24 the company closed its doors once again releasing a statement saying that the company’s “senior lender” - Keltic Financial Partners LLP - would not provide the necessary funding to enable Whitley to continue operations.
Representatives from the company came to a job fair held by WorkOne for employees laid off by the closing and made the announcement the company would re-open its doors and did so on Feb. 4.
Filing the WARN notice with the State Department of Workforce Development appears to be a final step to the company’s saga of trying to remain open.
The company had been in operation for over 60 years and its website states they were “... the largest Tier Two supplier of precision tubular products to the diesel engine, agricultural equipment, off-highway, construction equipment and HVAC markets...’