Sanyo Halts Production At Arkansas TV Plant

Television factory will close and 550 will lose their jobs; company will keep warehouse and distribution operations in the area.

FORREST CITY, Ark. (AP) - Sanyo Manufacturing Corp. announced Tuesday it would end production at a television factory at Forrest City, where 550 people worked before the plant began layoffs early this year.
The site will keep about 75 employees and will continue to operate as headquarters for the global television business of Sanyo TV International. Sanyo also will keep warehouse and distribution operations in Forrest City. Some corporate functions, including engineering, sales and customer service, will remain at the plant. When the last of the production lines stop in October, 475 workers will have lost their jobs, officials said.
Sanyo has owned the plant since 1977 and used it to manufacture cathode ray televisions. Demand for the picture tube-style of TVs has dropped sharply as flat screens have grown in demand.
For Sanyo's fiscal year 2007, which began on April 1, the company anticipates having enough orders to keep only one of five production lines running, but only through the end of October, the company said.
Salaried workers will have a severance package, plant vice president Joe Keeton said Tuesday. Hourly workers are eligible for job training through the governor's program for dislocated workers, he said.
The factory laid off more than 300 workers early in 2007, leaving about 250.
Sanyo has a production facility in Tijuana, Mexico, that produces flat panel sets.
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