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Ireland-based company to lay off 84 in Charlotte

Ireland-based Eaton expects to close its clutch-assembly facility in north Charlotte and lay off the more than 80 people who work there, a move that will shrink the company’s presence in the region.

Spokesman Jim Michels said the company plans to shift the operations at the 5808 Long Creek Park Drive facility to Eaton plants in Indiana and Mexico.

The closure will result in 84 layoffs, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN notice, filed with the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Companies must file the notices when they make mass layoffs and close plants.

According to the notice, the first wave of layoffs is expected to occur by Oct. 15. Michels said 27 of the 84 workers will remain at the facility until the end of 2015 as the company completes orders for existing clients.

He said the closing will not affect Eaton’s electrical facility in Charlotte, the only other operation the company has in the city. That facility is at 5910 Long Creek Park Drive and employs 79 people. It serves as the U.S. distribution center for Eaton’s Cooper Wiring Devices businesses.

Eaton, a Dublin-based power-management company, produces products used by the aerospace, automotive and other industries.

The Charlotte facility slated for closure manufactures clutches used in a variety of commercial vehicles, from tow trucks to school buses to 18-wheelers. Eaton opened the facility in 2007.

The company announced the layoffs internally in May.

Michels said the operations in the Charlotte plant will be moved to a facility in Auburn, Ind., and a facility in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

“Both of those facilities ... have available capacity and can handle the volume that’s being done today out of Charlotte,” he said.

Eaton will assist affected workers in finding employment both inside and outside the company, he said.

“We fully recognize that decisions like this are difficult,” he said. “It’s in no way reflective of the employees or their work that’s been done in Charlotte.”

Eaton employs more than 4,000 people across North Carolina, Michels said, including at operations in Kings Mountain and Roxboro.

Roberts: 704-358-5248; Twitter: @DeonERoberts
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