HED:Action to lay off 200 workers

AUTHOR: PERILL

HED:Action to lay off 200 workers

By Gary Perilloux

Daily Journal

Action Industries Northeast Mississippi’s largest industrial employer said Tuesday it will lay off 200 workers this week.

Effective Thursday, the layoff affects production at the company’s four plants in Pontotoc, Saltillo, Verona and Tupelo.

The layoff represents 5 percent of the company’s total work force of 4,000 employees.

The company is part of Furniture Brands International, a $2 billion-a-year home furnishings business whose major brands are Lane, Thomasville and Broyhill.

Action produces furniture under the Lane label, and the company discontinued shipments this summer to Heilig-Meyers, the nation’s largest retailer, shortly before that company filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in August.

Action had done $30 million a year in business with Heilig-Meyers. That discontinued business coupled with a slower sales pace for furniture during three of the four past months contributed to the layoff decision.

Earlier this month, Action officials said they didn’t plan to close any plants due to recent downturns in the furniture business, but they were monitoring market conditions to determine the impact on future operations.

Company officials announced the layoffs in a statement Tuesday. In the statement, they said the laid-off workers would have first preference in rehiring if market conditions improve.