Janesville70.8°

Simmons calls back laid off workers

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JAMES P. LEUTE
May 28, 2008
— After a difficult six weeks, there’s finally some good news associated with layoffs in Janesville.

Simmons Co., a Janesville mattress manufacturer, has called back about 45 of the 71 employees it laid off at the end of April.


“I wasn’t expecting it quite this fast, but our business hasn’t been bad,” said Chuck Waldhardt, who manages the Simmons plant in Janesville.


Simmons officials said in early May that the local layoffs were the result of seasonal cycles in the bedding business.


But Simmons is holding its market share and recently picked up coveted floor space at a key Chicago retailer, Waldhardt said.


“Now, we’re looking forward to bringing them all back,” he said, adding that he did not have a timetable for the return of the 26 or so employees still laid off.


Waldhardt said Simmons hired about 90 new employees in 2007 to push the Janesville employment to 350.


Simmons Co., 1809 Adel St., opened its Janesville plant in 1980.


The Atlanta-based company is one of the world’s largest mattress manufacturers. It operates 21 conventional-bedding manufacturing facilities and two juvenile-bedding manufacturing facilities in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.



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