© Saft Batteries Electronics Production | May 28, 2019
Saft to cut dozens of jobs at FL plant
Saft America Inc., manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries, has confirmed it will cut 63 jobs at its West Jacksonville factory by the end of 2019.
A Saft rep confirmed the job losses in an email to the Jacksonville Daily Record last week, saying that the company’s Jacksonville facility has been both unprofitable and underutilized. According to Saft, plans include restructuring operations the 235,000-square-foot plant and shift focus to more profitable sectors, including energy storage, mobility, and rail assembly for U.S.-based customers. “The restructuring will have a short-term impact in terms of jobs with 35 positions made redundant immediately and 28 more in late 2019,” said Lisa Harlow, a senior account executive with Clapp Communications, which represents Saft. Brian Hughes, Mayor Lenny Curry’s chief of staff, said Saft officials notified the city’s Office of Economic Development about the workforce reductions. In 2009, Saft received a USD 5.3 million incentive package whereby the terms required the manufacturer to create 279 full-time jobs by the end of 2017. According to the Jacksonville Daily Record, the facility only had 149 jobs as of June 2018, at which time Saft made a deal with the city to extend its job target deadline to December. The city also penalized Saft USD 25,000. Hughes told the Daily Record last Wednesday the city is waiting on certain “data points” from Saft, including number of jobs impacted from the downsizing, before making any adjustments or reductions to the remaining city incentives.