February 28, 2009

Sub-Zero Freezer to lay off 350 workers

Wisconsin refrigerator maker Sub-Zero Freezer/Wolf Appliance says it will lay off up to 350 local employees after May 1.

Chuck Verri, Sub-Zero Freezer/Wolf Appliance's vice president of human resources, told the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison, Wis., that the layoffs are being prompted by the recession and market slowdown in housing and remodeling.

It's a continuation of the low demand for new housing, he said. Existing homes are not selling. A large part of our business is kitchen remodeling and that has slowed also now.

The Madison company, with operations in Fitchburg, Wis., and Phoenix, is privately owned, making high-end refrigeration and cooking appliances. Last spring the company said it would cut 235 hourly factory jobs, but that reduction never happened.

It certainly is a blow to those workers who are going to be laid off, Dave Goodspeed, business agent for Madison Local 565 of the Sheet Metal Workers Union, told the newspaper. They're good-paying jobs, good benefits and Sub-Zero's a good employer. Right now in the manufacturing sector, there's nothing out there.