On Tuesday, a Michelin spokesperson said the eight-week lay-off period will end in two weeks and all of the 240 workers who were furloughed during the holidays may return to their jobs.


On Tuesday, a Michelin spokesperson said the eight-week lay-off period will end in two weeks and all of the 240 workers who were furloughed during the holidays may return to their jobs.


“That furlough is coming to a close and these workers will be coming back to work depending on what shift they are on. But they will all be back,” said Lynn Mann, public relations director for Michelin North America. “It was a great opportunity for them to spend times with their families.”


Workers are expected to return on January 4-5. The lay-offs went into effect during the second week of November. The temporary furlough was prompted by the downturn of the automobile market, Mann said.


“It’s really a combination of market factors, that the market was overall down and we needed to adjust our inventories,” Mann said. “We had planned to take an eight-week reduction in production. It was always planned to be an eight week period.”


During the two months, Michelin managed its investments and balanced company costs by making less tires, she said.


Michelin officials said they decided to reduce production at the Ardmore plant due to a reduced demand for passenger car and light truck tires. The facility employees about 1,750 workers.


During the eight-week period, workers received a significant portion of their regular paychecks through a compensation package which included a combination of state unemployment benefits and Michelin supplemental pay, Mann said.


“It was voluntary, so everyone volunteered to be on furlough,” she said. “We had a target of approximately 240 people. We actually had more than enough volunteers to achieve what we needed to achieve.”


Keith Howard, 221-6542
keith.howard@ardmoreite.com