36 laid off at Performance Fibers

Thirty-six people have lost their jobs at Performance Fibers in Salisbury because of declining demand for the product they make, a company official said.

The employees laid off Aug. 6 were salaried and hourly production workers. Some had been with the company as long as 30 years.

“Unfortunately, over the past 12 months, we’ve seen a deterioration in our competitive market … and we tried to resist taking this action as long as we could but just reached the point that in order to protect the business and remaining jobs we had to drop the manpower,” said Tony Pennington, human resources director for the Americas at Performance Fibers.

Those who lost jobs worked on all three shifts at the plant, which runs 24 hours a day, Pennington said. He said they were given severance.

The company has locations on several continents, but Pennington said only Salisbury was affected by this layoff. He said that’s mainly because demand has fallen for the industrial fabric that’s made at the plant and used in a number of products.

“It’s a full spectrum of things, but pretty much the demand is down,” he said.

Pennington said 250 people work at the Salisbury plant now.

Performance Fibers bought the plant in 2008. Before that, it was known as Invista. According to Salisbury Post files, 550 people worked at the plant at that time, not including contract employees.

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