Another Round? No Thanks

Leroy-Somer layoffs in Tennessee

Another round? No, thank you, I’ve had enough. In a working-class Utopia, corporate structure would resemble a bartender-patron relationship. In reality, employees don’t get a choice. Here’s the latest chapter in a series of unfortunate layoffs in America: from a Leroy-Somer plant in Lexington, Tennessee.

63 employees in Lexington are expected to lose their jobs, effective June 9, Leroy-Somer officially notified the Tennessee Department of Labor last Friday, Omer Yusuf of the Jackson Sun reported. This comes after the plant had already laid off 180 people last year. The reason? Parent companies and acquisitions dating back to last year. Leroy-Somer Holding, the French-based parent company, was acquired as part of Nidec’s acquisition of Emerson’s motors and drives division, a move that officially went through on January 21, 2017.

Looking for someone to blame? The easy scapegoat for many is Caterpillar, Inc., due to a tidal wave of recent struggles. Caterpillar was this particular plant’s main customer, something Lexington Mayor David Jowers cited as a central reason for the predictable layoffs.

“Their customer is Caterpillar Inc.,” Jowers said in a statement. “They make generators that hook on engines and, basically, the oil industry hurt them really bad because each of one of these places in North Dakota they use these generators; and, well, they are not using them anymore. Now here comes the coal industry and they use generators. When the coal industry went down it went bad, and sales is what caused the company to sell the generational business.”


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