Coleman laid off about 40 people Thursday. Sources tell Eyewitness News that a memo announced the companies restructuring efforts.
Friday afternoon, Coleman released a statement about the changes.
The Coleman Company, Inc. recently announced a restructuring of its global workforce to improve overall competitiveness. As a result of this initiative, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to eliminate a small number of positions. All impacted employees have been informed and Coleman is providing these individuals with transition assistance and is treating each fairly, in a manner consistent with Coleman policies.
Additionally, Coleman has made the strategic decision to divest the propane cylinder manufacturing business located in Maize, Kansas to Worthington Industries, allowing the company to focus on other areas of growth. Worthington will continue to manufacture propane cylinders at the Maize facility and market them under the Coleman name.
Coleman is committed to accelerating international expansion and solidifying Coleman’s position as a global outdoor recreation leader. Importantly, Coleman is committed to continuing our investment in our Kansas based enterprises. In accordance with these goals, Coleman announced in October a multi-million dollar capital investment focused on enhancing the company’s U.S.-based manufacturing in Wichita and New Braunfels, Texas.
Sources say Thursday was the last day for about 40, maybe even 50 employees. They say many of the employees have been with the company for decades. Employees were also told more positions will be eliminated in the near future.
The restructuring also includes the sale of Coleman's propane facility in Maize. Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer says Coleman's CFO called him Thursday to talk about changes to the Mazie facility. He says however the CFO made no mention of layoffs in Wichita.
Coleman sold the Maize facility to Worthington Industries out of Ohio. Worthington is considered one of the largest manufacturers of propane canisters.
Maize City Administrator Richard LaMunyon says he was told about the sale recently. He says it will not impact employment at the Maize facility. Worthington plans to take over at the first of the year. LaMunyon says it will continue to make propane canisters for Coleman and might even expand the facility in the future.
The memo comes about a month and a half after Coleman decided to move some jobs to Colorado. In October, Coleman's CEO announced he was moving key leadership positions out of Wichita. At the time he wouldn't say how many people would be relocated, but that a majority of Wichita's 800 employees would stay here. An article in the Denver Post Thursday says Coleman will relocate 15-30 people from Wichita. It says Coleman will also hire about 40 people locally.
CEO Robert Marcovitch stated he made the decision to find better recruits and offer employees a better quality of life. The reasons stung Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer. Marcovitch called Brewer about the relocation and gave the city no chance to try and keep them.