Beaird Co. Closes Louisiana Plant, Idles Hundreds

Company president said the temporary shutdown that has idled the metal fabricating plant and its 427 workers would last no longer than June 1.

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) -- Beaird Co. has temporarily shut down its metal fabricating plant here, laying off hundreds of employees.

President Gerald Landry referred to Monday's move as a ''short-term furlough'' for as many as 427 employees. He said the shut down would last no longer than June 1, and may be over in a couple of days.

''The company just came out of a very difficult contract that ate up a lot of cash,'' he told The Times of Shreveport. ''We just need to rapidly reduce costs.''

The plant was closed after Monday's first shift.

According to a statement from Mayor Cedric Glover's office, the city has known that Beaird was struggling financially and has helped it try to obtain working capital and possible state assistance. The city of Shreveport owns the land and building at the plant site.

Landry is ''working with a local investor to purchase and recapitalize the company, in hopes of keeping the plant open,'' the mayor's office said.

''... Our immediate and most urgent concern is for the employees whose lives are being affected by this closure,'' Glover said in a prepared statement.

More in Operations