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Salem plant closing shocks workers



Published: Sat, August 4, 2012 @ 12:07 a.m.

Miller-Holzwarth recently received $100K defense pact

By Burton Speakman

bspeakman@vindy.com

salem

Miller-Holzwarth Inc. workers were told Monday the plant would close at the end of the day, surprising most of them and the community.

There had been no warning given to workers or the community. In addition the company recently had received a government contract, said John Berlin, Salem mayor.

According to the Federal Business Opportunities website, Miller-Holzwarth had received a recent contract for $100,000 for a vehicular window. It’s unclear at this time what will happen with the contract.

The company manufactured periscopes, vision blocks, ballistic windows, transparent armor and specialty mechanical components. Miller-Holzwarth Inc. has been in continuous production of components for armored combat vehicles for more than 35 years.

The company had operated in Salem since the 1950s, Berlin said. Nearly all their work was produced for the government.

The government contract does not appear to have been enough to offset the loss in business incurred as cuts have been made to the nation’s defense budget. The Associated Press reports that billions of dollars in cuts in defense spending will occur as part of a deficit-reduction plan approved last year by Congress.

The Labor Department on Monday stated that federal contractors do not have to warn their employees about potential layoffs from the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts due to kick in Jan. 2. The guidance letter said it would be “inappropriate” for employers to send such warnings because it is still speculative if and where the cuts might occur, according to the Associated Press.

The closing will have an impact on the city’s finances. Estimates based on the 1 percent Salem income tax are that the city will lose $25,000 to $35,000 a year based on Miller-Holzwarth’s closing, Berlin said. The estimates were based on Miller-Holzwarth’s having 80 employees.

The whole local economy stands to lose if the business is unable to reopen, he said.

“The saddest part of the whole thing is for the employees who will lose their source of income,” Berlin said.

The contract provides some hope that someone might be able to take over the company and restructure things to make the finances work, he said.

“When something like this happens, it provides opportunity,” he said. “There may be an entrepreneur out there who has done something similar.”

Jennifer Moll, owner and president of the company, could not be reached to comment.


Comments

1Thunderboom(67 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

First, my heart goes out to the workers and their families. What a kick-in-the butt way to lose your job. You should be able to find a job soon for I recently heard someone say "The private sector is doing fine." Four more years!! Yeah.................right.

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2AnotherAverageCitizen(1172 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

If this was in Tim Ryan district this article would light up like a Christmas tree. But no one says a word about Bill Johnson and Kasich doing anything to save jobs.

Nice job Bill Johnson. More people in your distrct out of work.

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3Knightcap(606 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Doesn't look to promising to have 4 more years of Obama. For every job he likes to say he creates there are two being lost if not more. Unemployment is over 8%, gas prices headed to $4, and the deficit out control climbing over 15 trillion. Sorry, I don't see any hope in that. Let's regroup for 2016 and nominate someone with at least half a brain and not the scarecrow from OZ.

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4ytownsteelman(616 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

The only reason that there will not be WARN notices is because it would hurt Obama if these notices went out before election day. What a fraud!

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5greene(167 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

"Tho' those 80 employes did't pay taxes to Salem, somebody else made that possible."

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6steelwagon(284 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

This company has been in operation since the 50s building many different componets for the military.
The closing of this plant makes me wonder why a company that produces such vital and important parts for our nations defense is closing to begin with.

Yes I understand cuts in defense spending but there has to be many wasteful and expensive cuts that could be made long before this plant is forced to close.

You really have to question whos friends in Washington are benefitting on the gravy train of waste while another valley business goes under.

"The private sector is doing fine"

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7AnotherAverageCitizen(1172 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Steel.

Its Bill Johnson who did NOTHING to protect the company and workers.

BYE BYE BILL

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8gdog4766(1254 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

JOHNSON,JOHNSON, hes our man if nobody can screw the blue collar worker JOHNSON can!!!!!!!!!!! GO JOHNSON. Given his background I wont be surprised to see that the owners of this company took this contract overseas.

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9kk80586(220 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

It seems this came kind of sudden. What did you want Bill Johnson to do? Predict the future that a company was going to fail (probably due to bad management or policies)? Maybe it wasn't even management...my guess would be that it is a union shop and could no longer afford to pay 80 people the wages of 160 regular employees to do the work that could be done by 40 employees. I don't know the facts of the situation but you probably have no idea if Bill Jonson was aware or not. Why would Johnson think that a business might go under after the messiah said "the public sector is doing fine"?

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10kk80586(220 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

correction--- the messiah said "the private sector is doing fine" ...of course he meant " the public sector is doing fine"

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11Freeatlast(1989 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

If the truth is known the work is going to China . And it is not a union shop

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12AtownAugie(697 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

The only thing missing is a quote from Obama: "Pffft -- they didn't build that company anyhow -- someone else did!"

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13Karen59Cortland(4 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

AtownAugie - you know full well what the President said was that if you built a company, you had some help along the way - a teacher, a mentor, the use of our infrastructure etc. Can we please stick to facts and not Faux News fantasy?

Speaking of facts, now that Congress has gone on vacation, lets look at what they managed to do the past 17 months.

Republicans have voted NO on 19 individual pieces of legislation that would have created jobs in America.

I’m amazed that the unemployment rate isn’t higher.

So what have they been doing the past 17 months? The top 5 list, making up 61% of the legislation passed:

1st on the list is Renaming Federal Buildings – 23% of the bills passed; 2nd is short-term (under 1 year) extensions of existing laws; 3rd is transferring federal lands or the use of federal lands to individual states; 4th are Commemorative Issues; 5th is continuing existing appropriations.

In the meantime, profit at companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index rose 16 percent last year.

The CEO of a typical public company made $9.6 million in 2011, up 6% from 2010. Does anyone know any working poor or middle class Americans who saw a 6% increase in their income last year?

Newly released IRS figures show that in 2009 U.S. nonfinancial companies held $4.8 TRILLION in liquid assets, “ie” cold hard cash.

Republicans are holding America hostage in their quest to take over the Presidency.

They blame President Obama and the Democrats for the mess that Bush 43 created and left us to solve, and now they want to come back and do it all over again.

Tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation for investment banks, medicare vouchers for seniors.

Wake up and do some research before it's too late to save our country. Be an informed voter.

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14AtownAugie(697 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

@Karen59Cortland -- You really need to hire a literary agent: your fantasies are better than the Grimm brothers. Kudos!

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15Knightcap(606 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

@Karen59 Cortland - I wish I could have your faith in this president but if you look at the national debt, gas prices and unempoyment just to name a few, I don't see how you can cast a vote for him. You can blame Bush and the republicans but the buck stops at Pennsylvania Ave. where Obama governs. If there's some miracle that things turn around then give Obama 4 years. But for now, the future looks scary and bleak having another four years like the past four years. Regroup for 2016 and get someone with better vision. If Romney's elected and the debt starts to go down, gas prices fall below $3 and unemployment below 6%then give Romney 8years. If he turns out to be a empty suit like Obama then toss em out.

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16gdog4766(1254 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Karen these repuglicans confirm the old saying of Theres none so blind as those that will not see. Give it up these people will never admit their party is largley responsible for this damage. To read knightcap (who claims in earlier posting to be a democrat) you can see who took the bad acid at woodstock.

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17southsidedave(4709 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

this is how companies operate in today's global society...everyone for themselves

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18TERRI_USA(30 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

I agree with Feeatlast Stan, the work is going to China.

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19fattynskinny(194 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

obama has done nothing for the majority of us working people....zip...zilch...nothing. the thing he's done the most of is putting people on welfare and medicaid. the working class are paying for it.....AND he thinks it's great and wants more of it. it's called control. control over one's lives. this is what he wants...socialism. WAKE THE HELL UP AMERICANS!

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20Knightcap(606 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

@ gdog - easy with the cheez wiz and take the ice pick out of your head. This is not a good economy and it's getting worse. Talk about a horse with blinders. Been a registered democrat all my life but when it comes to democrats like Obama,Emanual,Pelosi, Reid, Trafficant, Chance, Philomena, Polivishack, Dann, Ryan, etc. etc. I can't see giving them support. Sometimes the other guy or gal is better. I remember both of my parents were part of the Valley machine in the 70's . My first time to vote my mom gave me a paper strip of endorsed democrats, and told me to take that into the booth and vote for these guys with the X next to their name. Never happened. Always voted for who I thought was best. I 'm still a believer in bringing all troops from everywhere home, Fair trade agreements, tax the companies who moved off shore, tax the Chinese imports, a higher minimum wage, a national heath-care insurance program but not Obamacare. Also, too young to be at Woodstock. Did not take acid, The far left liberal hippies were dopers in that era.

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21kk80586(220 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

freeatlast--you got a source for that info or did you just make that up?

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