Andersen Corp. today it is laying off hundreds of workers in its headquarters town of Bayport because of the worsening economy.
The window and door maker has permanently laid off 50 office and management workers, and temporarily laid off 400 production workers.
Andersen has approximately 11,000 employees, with about 5,000 in Minnesota. The permanent layoffs are the first at the company in two years.
Seasonal layoffs are not uncommon in the housing industry. But spokeswoman Maureen McDonough says more workers were affected this year because of the weak economy.
"We have had a strategy of temporary layoffs for many many years and our employees actually like that flexibility, so we try to avoid the permanent when we can," said McDonough. "A lot has happened in the last quarter in the economy, and it's gone deeper, and the credit crisis has really affected a lot of businesses so we are reacting to that."
McDonough says employees who are permanently laid off will be given severance pay, benefit continuation and help with job searches.
She says temporarily laid off workers will be called back after the first quarter of 2009.
The announcement comes just two months after Andersen eliminated 52 positions at its production facility in Menomonie, Wis.
She says the company will make its annual profit-sharing payments to employees as usual next month, because they are based on the performance of the previous year.