Eaton moving some Vicksburg jobs to Mexico

Published 9:49 am Thursday, July 20, 2017

Eaton is not shutting down its lighting plant in Vicksburg, a company spokesperson said.

However, the plant is moving some Vicksburg jobs to Mexico. The net effect here will be the loss of 50 to 70 jobs, a spokesperson said.

“Absolutely, the plant is staying open,” said Ann Marie Halal, Eaton external communications manager.

“We are moving some lines to Mexico, but we are also moving in new product lines into that plant.”

According to information from Eaton, the company notified employees in June that it would be making some changes to its lighting manufacturing facility on U.S. 61.

“We will be moving two production lines for some of our outdoor lighting products to our lighting production facility in Juarez, Mexico, in the third and fourth quarters of 2017,” Halal said. “Concurrently, we plan to bring into Vicksburg two new production lines — one for industrial facility lighting and another for one of our newest products, sports lighting.”

She said the total number of Eaton employees in Vicksburg who will lose their jobs is expected to be between 50 and 70, including union and salaried employees. The plant currently has about 350 employees.

“We recognize this is a difficult announcement for impacted employees and their families,” she said. “We are offering severance packages and outplacement services to eligible salaried employees and working with the local union representatives to address hourly employees who are affected.

“This operational change is in no way a reflection on the quality work and dedication of our Vicksburg employees, but rather a response to market conditions. Eaton is continuing to invest in the future of the facility by bringing in production of some of our newest product lines.”

Eaton acquired Cooper Industries PLC, the parent company of the then- Cooper Lighting in Vicksburg, in a deal valued at an estimated $11.46 billion.

The plant’s 51-acre site on U.S. 61 South housed Westinghouse Electric from 1953 to 1982 and later Crouse Hinds until it became Cooper Lighting before its acquisition by Eaton.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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