Jeffboat to lay off 278 workers amid weak demand for barges - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Jeffboat to lay off 278 workers amid weak demand for barges

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Jeffboat announced 278 layoffs on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. Jeffboat announced 278 layoffs on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017.
Jeffboat cited lower demand for barges made at the shipyard. Jeffboat cited lower demand for barges made at the shipyard.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Jeffboat, the ship-building plant in Jeffersonville, Indiana, will permanently lay off 278 employees over the next five months due to an “industry wide decrease in demand” for the barges made at the shipyard.

Jeffboat’s privately owned parent company, American Commercial Lines Inc., disclosed the plans in a filing with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

The company, which employs about 600 people, said it doesn’t “currently intend” to close the shipyard. American Commercial Lines Senior Vice President Dawn Landry did not immediately return a call for comment.

Workers at the plant are members of Teamsters Local 89 in Louisville. Jobs that will be cut include welders, mechanics and electricians, according to a list furnished to the state.

In 2013, Jeffboat said it would invest $3.5 million to add a fourth production line and about 100 additional workers at the plant. At that time, the plant employed about 800.

Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore said in a statement that he was "saddened" to learn of the cutbacks.

"As one of our city’s oldest employers, Jeffboat has a long tradition of weathering ups and downs in its industry. I’m confident that they will bounce back once again," Moore said.

Jeffboat's notice to the state is below:

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2017 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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