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Flooring plant cutting its third shift

By Paris Goodnight
Salisbury Post
Statesville’s Armstrong World Industries Inc. plant is eliminating its third shift next Thursday.
A Salisbury employee called the Post to say company officials gave workers the news Thursday morning. He’s worked at the plant for 51/2 years and said employees have been on a four-day work week since the first of the year. He said he knew of at least 10 employees from the Salisbury area who worked at the plant.
The Statesville plant has about 220 employees and makes engineered wood floor products for customers such as Lowe’s Home Improvement.
“The third shift (overnight) is being cut in response to lower product demand, affecting 57 production jobs. Layoffs will be determined by employee seniority. Laid-off employees will be eligible for unemployment and will be placed on a call-back list for recall when demand improves,” according to an e-mail from Meg Graham, vice president of corporate communication.
Armstrong World Industries had net sales of about $3.5 billion last year.
Declines in the residential housing market and a slowdown in the commercial construction market continue to hurt the company’s bottom line.
The company reported net sales of $828.2 million for the first quarter, which was down 4 percent from a year earlier. Sales and reported operating income from continuing operations decreased.
Earnings were $15.1 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, from $30.7 million, or 55 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2007.
Armstrong World Industries is based in Lancaster, Pa.

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