Metropolis mayor voices concern for families after Lafarge layoff announcement

Metropolis, Illinois, Mayor Billy McDaniel told us 40 workers will be laid off at Lafarge later this year.

The cement company confirmed it told workers about a layoff last Thursday, but the official number of layoffs is being finalized. Lafarge said jobs will be cut by December, following a 60-day notice. They are all salaried positions.

McDaniel said that news comes weeks after AEP, the Cook Coal Terminal, announced 20 layoffs, which means tough economic times for the region. “I don’t know what you do except pray that something will come along,” he said. He said it means a loss in tax revenue collected by the county. Not all employees there live in Metropolis.

“Sure, we get a portion of that, but that’s minute," McDaniel said. He’s not thinking about property tax. He’s thinking about the people who started at Lafarge last May when it added a second cement kiln.

While company spokesperson Robin DeCarlo “the management team is in the process of reviewing all positions and determining which positions are necessary,” McDaniel said he feels for that uncertain feeling for local families.

DeCarlo said demand is to blame for the layoffs. “The cement market isn’t growing like we anticipated, and as a result of that the demand for cement from our Joppa plant has decreased," DeCarlo said.

DeCarlo said Lafarge will keep its permits current and, if demand rises, the company will put people back to work. Until then, a big question mark lingers over the city and surrounding community. 

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