- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 24, 2018

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) - An electronics manufacturer will close its Burlington plant in southeast Iowa by next year, according to company officials.

Siemens announced on Monday the closure that will cost about 125 people their jobs, The Hawk Eye reported . The staff and operations reductions will take place in two phases over the next year, a company statement said.

The company will close the entire facility, including Siemens‘ Power and Gas, Power Generation Services and Dresser-Rand operations. Dresser-Rand manufactures steam turbines and has operated in Burlington for nearly 150 years.

Siemens officials attributed the closing to the need to reduce costs in the face of “competitive pressures in the energy market.”

The news came as a surprise to the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers union, which represents the shop workers at the facility.

“We had no idea it would happen,” said Chris Tucker, association president. “It was out of the blue.”

The announcement also surprised the Greater Burlington Partnership. The company didn’t reach out to the partnership for help, said Jeremy Hess, director of economic development.

“There’s not really much that you can do as far as economic tools go without the knowledge of what’s happening ahead of time, and they may have kept that in secrecy for very good corporate reasons that we just don’t know about,” Hess said. “Doesn’t mean efforts won’t be made, though. We’ll be reaching out to them and seeing if there is anything that can be done.”

Siemens‘ wind turbine plant in Fort Madison will not be affected by cuts in Burlington, according to a company spokesman. That plant lost about 200 employees earlier this year.


Information from: The Hawk Eye, http://www.thehawkeye.com

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