Lafayette manufacturing plant laying off 150 workers

A north-central Indiana plant that makes gears and various types of mechanical drives is laying off 150 production workers due to sluggish demand for its products.

Oerlikon Fairfield officials announced Wednesday that the indefinite layoffs will take effect March 4. The Lafayette company founded in 1919 makes gears, planetary drives and other drive components for applications ranging from construction equipment to offshore drilling platforms.

Company vice president of human resources Jim Mills tells the Journal & Courier the layoffs are a response to a decline in global demand for its products and uncertainty surrounding government budgets, upcoming regulations and other factors.

Mills says the Lafayette plant currently has about 1,000 employees.

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