Federal

The Federal Mogul plant at Jacksonville, shown Wednesday.

Auto parts manufacturer Federal-Mogul plans to lay off 47 workers at its distribution center in Jacksonville next month but will keep the site open, a company spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The layoffs are the latest in a downsizing of the center that started late last year when the Michigan-based company announced it would reduce the workforce by 200 people. The downsizing is needed as Federal-Mogul adjusts its North American distribution network, the spokeswoman said.

According to a list published by the Alabama Department of Commerce, providing updates on layoffs and closings by companies in the state, Federal-Mogul has laid off 121 workers at the Jacksonville center since December. The next 47 layoffs are expected to start in September, according to the list.

In November, the company announced it planned to lay off 200 workers in Jacksonville during the next 18 months as it transitioned the site to a returns facility. In November, the Jacksonville center had a total of 300 workers.

“The Federal-Mogul Motorparts facility in Jacksonville remains open and is on track with its previously announced transition to a centralized North American returns facility,” Karen Shulhan, spokeswoman for Federal-Mogul, wrote in a Wednesday email to The Star.

The state’s list noted that Federal-Mogul in Jacksonville wasn’t just laying off 47 people, but that it would be closing in September.

Shulhan didn’t directly address questions about the discrepancy, but reiterated that the center would remain in operation.

“The facility will not completely close and will remain open as a returns center,” she wrote.

The Jacksonville auto parts distribution center opened in 1975 on Alabama 21 on the outskirts of the city.

Mayor Johnny Smith said the company had notified him a couple of weeks ago about the latest round of layoffs.

“They started downsizing about a year ago and every time they did any layoffs, they sent me a letter,” Smith said. “They’ve been pretty good about notifying me.”

Smith said the downsizing of the center is still a major blow to the community.

“It really is a pretty big impact ... that’s been a stable location for a long time where a lot of people made a living,” Smith said. “It’s hard to lose all those jobs.”

 

Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.