|Hartmann Luggage to close in December|
|Wednesday, September 12, 2012|
By PATRICK HALL
Hartmann Luggage, one of the first businesses to locate in the William D. Baird Industrial Subdivision, will close its entire Lebanon operation in December.
According to documents filed with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development on Wednesday, Hartmann will close down its Lebanon factory on Friday, Dec. 14.
“On Dec. 14, 2012, Hartmann will permanently close their facility,” said Department of Labor Communications Director Jeff Hentschel.
The closing will leave 93 employees without a job, including 14 temporary workers, six Parts and Repair Operators, five Order Pullers, four Customer Service Representatives and many more. The positions range from office workers to shipping and maintenance.
Founded in 1877, Hartmann is known as a top manufacturer of high-end luggage, and was purchased in late August by Samsonite International for $35 million.
In 1959, Hartmann Luggage moved to Lebanon and established itself on the corner of Baddour Parkway and what is now known as Hartmann Drive. Then Mayor William D. Baird is credited with creating the concept of an industrial subdivision in Tennessee and helped bring Hartmann here.
Hartmann initially did all of its manufacturing in Lebanon, employing more than 350 workers. However, over the past seven or eight years, most of the company’s manufacturing operations have been moved to China and South America.
Most recently, the facility in Lebanon housed some of the company’s management and was largely a warehouse/logistics base with only a few remaining manufacturing jobs.
Hentschel said the company filed its intentions with the department even though it did not have to comply with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN, Act of 1988. According to Hentschel, companies employing 100 or more workers must give the department at least a 60-day notice before firing a significant portion of its workforce.
“It’s not uncommon for employers of 100 or less to notify us,” he said. “The WARN Act allows the department to get in touch with the employees and talk to them about benefits and services through our career centers.”
The local Career Center is located at 155 Legends Drive, Suite M, in Lebanon.