Black Cat Wear Parts has laid off ten production workers. Plant Manager Josh Daniel confirmed what he hoped would be “temporary layoffs.” He said there are still 26 workers at the DeWitt facilities in areas such as the warehouse, maintenance and office.
Black Cat is a Canadian based company with DeWitt the only U.S. operation. The company makes construction blades and wear parts for mining and road maintenance equipment. Steel imported from Canada is used in the production at the company. Daniel said the tariff on steel imported from Canada is the reason for the cuts.
The 25% tariff was imposed a few weeks ago. Daniel said most of the production done at the DeWitt plant has been moved to plants in Canada. He said the items can be manufactured in Canada and distributed to their end users without the tariff. Daniel said the company is committed to DeWitt and hopes to bring back the workers soon if a trade agreement can be settled. The Black Cat plant manager called this a bump in the road.
The tariff also has halted the firm’s expansion plan in DeWitt. An additional site had been purchased earlier this year.
(By Dave Vickers, KROS, Clinton)