23 to lose Garden City Fan jobs here

Published 6:55 am Saturday, February 28, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Garden City Fan's decision to cease in-house manufacturing will cause 23 Niles employees to lose their jobs.
Company officials have announced that Garden City Fan, which produces industrial fans and blowers, will close the manufacturing arm of the business by March 31.
According to a press release, the decision to cut manufacturing was based on "weak utility market conditions, surplus capacity and increasing production costs."
The statement also indicates that the Niles building, located at 1701 Terminal Road, has been sold.
Derise Marden, human resources manager at Garden City Fan, could not comment on the buyer or the future location of their offices, but did say "we want to stay in the Niles area."
The nearly 50 white-collar workers are not expected to be affected by this closure.
Marden said many of the workers losing their jobs were long time employees of the company, some with more than 30 years of experience.
One of those employees is Dave Ernsperger, who is also the union representative.
Ernsperger was disappointed to here the news on Tuesday, but had nothing bad to say about the local management.
He said anytime you work for a foreign owned company, you are at their mercy.
The company has changed hands several times during Ernsperger's 31 year tenure and was most recently purchased by the Switzerland based Flakt Woods Group two years ago.
Ernsperger said the union will be meeting with the company soon to discuss the effects of the closure and possible severance options.
Marden indicated the company will continue to sell custom fans, despite the recent decision to discontinue their own manufacturing.
According to the press release, the business will be changing to an outsource strategy.
The company will then sub-contract their manufacturing needs to the lowest bidding vendor.