GoLocalProv | Business | NEW: Honeywell Lays Off Hundreds at Smithfield, RI


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

 

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One of the bright spots of the pandemic was the hiring of hundreds of workers at the Honeywell Plant in Smithfield to manufacture N95 masks.

But, as the demand for masks is over so are the jobs. A total of 470 have lost their jobs.

This further sets back Rhode Island’s difficulty in recovering jobs from the pandemic. 

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Honeywell said in a statement to GoLocal on Wednesday:

“At the start of the pandemic, when U.S. healthcare systems were faced with unprecedented demand for N95 respirators, Honeywell rapidly invested in establishing N95 respirator production at multiple facilities. To keep up with the sustained demand resulting from the prolonged pandemic, we invested in even more efficient, automated production lines.

We are now seeing a dramatic reduction in demand for N95s in the U.S. as many states are ending or scaling back mask mandates and vaccinations are being widely distributed. For these reasons, Honeywell is adjusting its N95 operations and ceasing manual production of N95s at our facility in Smithfield, R.I.

We realize this affects our valued employees and we are encouraging them to apply for other roles within Honeywell. Those eligible will be offered severance per Honeywell policy and local laws.

We appreciate the hard work and dedication these employees displayed in helping to protect American frontline workers battling the pandemic.  The U.S. remains Honeywell’s largest N95 manufacturing operation, and we will continue to deliver PPE to help protect workers on the job.”

 

GoLocal reported in April of 2020 that the corporation was racing to staff up:

Honeywell International Inc. announced on Friday that it has started production for the N95 face masks at its factory in Smithfield. The company has hired 500 locally to meet production demands.

The masks will be used by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, per the federal directive to produce a total of 20 million masks per month.

“Building a new production line is a tremendous undertaking that typically takes nine months,” said Chief Executive Darius Adamczyk. “Thanks to the dedication of our employees and strong support from our partners, including Emerson (Branson) and several other great U.S. suppliers, we were able to get the Rhode Island facility up and running in just five weeks.”

“Everyone was excited and eager to help with this cause,” said Conor Ryan, plant director. “We clapped at the accomplishment, then got back to making them.”

The manufacturing plant, which typically makes safety glasses and face shields, has been configured to also produce the in-demand masks.

 

 

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