Pella Making Workforce Adjustments

February 4, 2009

In response to declining marketing conditions, Pella Corp. has instituted a four-day work week–keeping the operations closed on Friday–for about 3,900 of its 9,000 employees. The actual hours worked may be 40 hours a week or less, based on just-in-time needs, the manufacturer points out.

Employees in manufacturing and shipping roles will be working four day-work weeks, and some will be asked to take week-long furloughs, during which they will be eligible for unemployment compensation.

“We thank our dedicated team members for their flexibility in adapting to this new schedule designed to help them retain their benefits as we adjust capacity in the short-term," Denny Van Zanten, president and chief operating officer of Pella’s Heritage Division, says. "This also positions Pella to be able to quickly gear up operations once construction activity rebounds."

The window and door maker has also cut staff again at its Sioux Center, Iowa facility. In December, 65 employees took voluntary leaves of absence, meaning they are not reporting for work but are eligible to apply for unemployment compensation. Another 86 volunteered at the end of January, according to spokeswoman Kathy Krafka Harkema. About 250 team members remain at the Sioux Center operation.

“The declining housing market has impacted virtually everyone, and as a result of the dramatic decline in new construction, we’ve taken a variety of steps to adjust our capacity to current demand,” a company statement explains. “Pella Corp.’s goal is to use a variety of creative solutions like voluntary leaves of absence during slower times of year to best deal with the housing economy and keep as many of our team members at work short-term, to best serve our satisfied customer base long-term."

The company's goal is to recall those who volunteered for leaves of absence once construction activity increases in the future, the statement also notes.