Lehigh Cement Co. has reduced most of its employees’ work week to 32 hours, a company spokesman said Tuesday.
About 101 hourly employees are affected by the reduction, which went into effect Monday.
“What we’re doing there is really just a temporary thing,” said Jeff Sieg of Lehigh Hanson Inc., Lehigh’s Texas-based parent company. “We anticipate that we can bring people back to production, to their normal working schedules.”
Sieg said the reduction reflects a decreased national demand for cement and building products, and it’s a way to avoid layoffs.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to get back running at full capacity in the very near future,” he said. “Obviously, it’s just a challenging economic situation across the country.”
Meanwhile, the other Mason City cement plant, Holcim Cement, will still be mothballed sometime during the third quarter (July-September), plant Manager Deon van den Berg said.
Holcim will stop production about Aug. 12. Equipment will be preserved and permits kept current in case the plant should need to brought back online in the future.