SIOUX CITY -- Prince Hydraulics, a Sioux City manufacturer of cylinders, pumps, valves and accessories for nearly 80 years, told employees Friday that they were terminated immediately and that the plant is closing down.
Shannon Stucker, a Midwest grand lodge representative with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), said on Saturday that the union was taken by surprise by the sudden closure of the plant, 4600 S Lewis Blvd. IAMAW represented most of the employees at the plant.
The closure of the plant will eliminate roughly 40 positions.
"They pulled all employees into a meeting at about 2 o'clock and informed them that they were closing the plant indefinitely," Stucker said. As he understands, Prince employees were told to pack their things and leave the building that day.
Officials with Prince Manufacturing Corporation (the owner of Prince Hydraulics) declined to tell IAMAW why they're closing the plant. Production at the facility is expected to move to another Prince facility, though Stucker said Prince did not specify which facility.
Employees were not forewarned of the closure, and they weren't told whether they would get severance pay or retraining opportunities.
"At this time we don't know any of that," Stucker said. He is planning to visit Sioux City in the near future, and hopes to get more information about the situation.
The termination of the Prince workers was not listed on the Iowa Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act website, where employers often post impending job losses in advance.
Stucker said the union has been in contact with an attorney for Prince. The union wants to learn more about the closure.
Prince Manufacturing, headquartered in North Sioux City, still has facilities in Hartington, Nebraska, North Sioux City, Brookings, South Dakota, South Sioux City and Yankton, South Dakota. The company's website makes no mention of the Lewis Boulevard location.
The firm was founded by John Prince 1941 as Prince Hydraulics, a small machine shop in Sioux City, according to the company's website. In September 1950 Prince was incorporated by John's son Richard. At present, the company's website boasts 400,000 square feet of manufacturing space, a warehouse and distribution facility and a fully equipped research and development lab.