WINONA -- A Winona manufacturer hit by COVID-19 cut 38 employees from its staff of more than 150 this week.
Solvay Composite Materials, which is part of Belgium-based Solvay Group, makes lightweight carbon fiber and adhesive materials for aerospace and automotive markets at its Winona facility at 501 W. Third St.
The company confirmed the layoffs with a statement on Friday.
“The COVID-19 crisis has impacted customer demand and we have had to restructure our business and reduce our global headcount by 570 positions, around 20 percent,” wrote Solvay’s Head of North America Communications Dana Ponciroli. “In Winona, we have had to make 38 layoffs -- 32 among our hourly workforce, in line with our union agreement, and six salaried employees.”
Workers at Solvay’s Winona plant are represented by Teamsters Local 120.
Ponciroli added, "We regret having had to take these difficult decisions and we are saddened to say goodbye to our colleagues. Solvay is proud to have set up a Solidarity fund funded by shareholders, Board of Directors and Senior Management donations to support its employees enduring hardship during the COVID-19 crisis. Impacted Winona employees who require assistance are eligible to apply for support. "
The company’s origins in Winona date back 1948, when ICI Fiberite was founded. The company was later acquired by New Jersey-based Cytec. Solvay acquired Cytec in 2015.