Dublin plant to lay off 145, close next year

The Rockwell Automation plant that opened in Dublin 30 years ago will close next year, impacting 145 workers.

Employees were notified Tuesday that the operation would face a phased closure beginning in October and ending in July 2010, said John Bernaden, director of external communications.

“Our hopes are that the advance notice will help employees as well as the community with their transition,” Bernaden said.

The Milwaukee-based company, which opened the 190,000-square-foot Dublin facility in 1979, provides industrial automation power, control and information systems and services to other manufacturers. It runs two shifts a day.

The company also plans to close its Sumner, Iowa, manufacturing center by December 2010, affecting 163 employees.

“Our Dublin employees have contributed to the success of the company, which made this a difficult decision,” Marty Thomas, senior vice president, said in a news release. “The cost challenges we face are significant.”

Work done at the Dublin facility would be sent to existing plants in Ohio and Mexico, according to a news release.

“Employees are able to apply for any position that’s open within Rockwell Automation,” Bernaden said. “However, this early, we don’t know what positions might be open next year.”

The company announced in 2005 that 200 workers would be laid off during a three-year period beginning in 2006, which occurred, Bernaden said.

Peak employment at the Dublin plant was “about 600 employees a few years ago,” he said.

Employees will receive severance packages and transition support, he said.

“Our typical process is to reach out to the Department of Labor as we get closer to the transition process itself,” Bernaden said. “We have not contacted them yet, but it’s very early in the process.”

Rockwell Automation Inc. employs about 20,000 people and serves customers in more than 80 countries.

To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.