A TV manufacturing company located in South Carolina is citing Trump’s aggressive tariffs for why it will lay off 94% of its employees, closing one of its manufacturing plants by October. Element Electronics sent out a worker adjustment and retraining notification notice on Monday to the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, with public records showing that the company is closing its Winnsboro location. Element Electronics released this statement, attributing the layoffs to:
…the new tariffs that were recently and unexpectedly imposed on many goods imported from China, including the key television components used in our assembly operations.”
Just eight out of the 134 full-time employees will be allowed to keep their jobs, with the rest of the 126 expected to be out of work by October. In its press release, Element Electronics also mentioned that the company did not plan on “bumping” — meaning that all of the staff or at risk of being laid off at the same rate, which typically translates to everyone being fired on the same day. Sixty-four of the people who are being laid off are professional assemblers, and 11 people have titles associated with warehouse maintenance. The vice president of human resources and the vice president of finance are also at risk — no one is safe from being laid off. Element Electronics plans to reopen a new facility within 3 to 6 months after October.
South Carolina’s job market has taken a beating with Trump’s tariffs, a state where 54.9 percent of eligible voters voted for him, allowing for Trump to secure nine electoral votes. One of the largest employers in South Carolina is now being threatened.
This closing comes less than a year of another nearby company closing its doors, citing “ongoing challenges” in the textile industry. National Spinning Company in eastern North Carolina laid off more than 152 people by December 31, 2017.
The Carolinas are in shambles.