Trendway Follows Trend Trims 10 Percent Of Jobs

    HOLLAND — Trendway Corp. is the latest West Michigan-based office furniture maker to cut its workforce in response to an industry downturn.

    The Holland-based firm last week eliminated 57 hourly and salaried positions, more than 10 percent of its workforce, joining its counterparts in trimming staff as sales slide in the wake of the weakened U.S. economy.

    “Lower than expected sales has prompted the company’s leadership team to review its operations and seek the most effective ways of carrying out the long-term business goals,” Trendway President Mark Groulx said.

    Employees affected by this job cuts will receive a severance package that makes available wage continuation and outplacement assistance.

    So far this year, office furniture makers have had to trim hundreds of jobs as result of the industry downturn. Most of the layoffs were temporary positions, although Haworth Inc. last month eliminated 183 jobs.

    Steelcase Inc., citing seasonal vacations and steady order rates, was able to avoid the temporary layoff of as many as 1,000 people this month.

    Trendway, with 2000 sales of nearly $100 million, employed about 500 people at its Holland Township facility.

    “What we’re experiencing is not exclusive to Trendway,” company Chairman and CEO Don Heeringa said.

    “In the course of reviewing our own business some difficult decisions had to be made. We believe this reorganization will allow Trendway to continue to provide the high quality of service our customers have come to expect as well as position us for the future.” 

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