Performance Fibers lays off 16 more workers

SALISBURY — After laying off 36 people in August, Performance Fibers in Salisbury has eliminated 16 more jobs because of declining demand for the product they make, a company official said.

The plant laid off the 16 additional full-time, hourly workers Sept. 12 and 13, according to Tony Pennington, human resources director for the Americas at Performance Fibers.


“Due to the business environment, the demand for the product has gone down from our customers,” Pennington said.

The Salisbury plant makes polyester fiber as industrial reinforcement used in a variety of products, including conveyor belts, seat belts, rope, hoses and offshore mooring. The plant does not make any of the finished products.

Pennington said the company does not believe customers are buying the product elsewhere, just buying less of it.

“In general, volume has gone down,” he said.

The second round of layoffs leaves 234 employees at the plant, which operates around the clock.

Pennington said he does not expect any additional job losses.

“That’s hard to say. Today, I will tell you we don’t anticipate any,” he said. “If business changes dramatically, that could change.”

The company has locations on several continents, but only Salisbury was affected by the layoffs.

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.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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