Rheem Lays off 43 Workers at Fort Smith Plant

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - A Fort Smith heating and cooling products manufacturer is laying off 43 employees. Rheem Manufacturing Co. cut the workers on Friday, and the company also is in the final stages of shutting down production at its factory in Milledgeville, Ga.

In late July, Rheem laid off about 140 workers as part of a seasonal work force reduction it does annually. Although both the July and August cuts were because of a seasonal downturn in demand for the company's air conditioning products, the laid-off workers were not temporary, seasonal labor.

A spokesman for the Fort Smith plant says the latest cuts were among the plant's hourly employees with the least seniority. The Fort Smith plant employs 953 hourly workers, including those on medical leave and disability, and 321 salaried staff. --- Information from: Southwest Times Record, http://www.swtimes.com/

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