By Bryan Navarro
WHITE CITY, Ore. — A White City warehouse is deserted after two-dozen employees are unexpectedly laid off.
Ferry-Morse, based out of Kentucky, opened its White City distribution center in summer of 2009. One worker there said during the busy season, the 100,000-square foot warehouse was stacked to the ceiling and trucks were pulling in and out shipping all the way from Montana to New Mexico; but on Friday, it closed up for good.
One employee who was laid off, spoke anonymously, and said for about 2 months, there were rumors buzzing around about something major happening on Friday, May 18th. On that day, at 10 a.m., every employee was told they were being terminated immediately.
Between the White City plant, and Ferry-Morse’s other distribution center, in Kentucky, 199 employees are being laid off, half of them immediately and the other half by the end of the year. Business officials say there was major turnover in the company’s management earlier this year. Then, Ferry-Morse was sold to a company called “Seed Holdings”, that sale was finalized on Friday and the layoffs followed immediately.
SOREDI helped recruit Ferry-Morse to Southern Oregon three years ago, where the company ultimately chose White City over 15 other locations. The employee whom Bryan Navarro talked with said it was disappointing to get laid off, but he feels confident he’ll be able to find another job with his training and skills.