Stupp Corp. plans to lay off 300 people at its Baton Rouge pipe fabrication facility by late October, and a sister business will lay off another 75 workers.
The company filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification letter with the Louisiana Workforce Commission last week, saying the layoffs would be effective Oct. 24 at the pipe facility at Ronaldson Road. In addition, Stupp Coatings, a sister business nearby that coats steel pipe, will lay off 75 workers effective Oct. 1.
In August 2019, Stupp was granted a property tax exemption from East Baton Rouge Parish's Metro Council, School Board and Sheriff Sid Gautreaux, valued at $2.5 million over 10 years. The company said it would modernize its Baton Rouge steel manufacturing facility, a $22 million investment, in order to meet an uptick in demand for steel pipe. The move was expected to lead to 128 new jobs and keep 338 existing workers with Stupp.
Because the company is so dependent on the oil industry, staffing at Stupp has ebbed and flowed based on oil prices. In 2012, when oil was trading at $100 a barrel, the company had 600 employees. But by 2016, when oil was trading around $30 a barrel, Stupp laid off 114 workers. Since early March, when businesses began to shut down to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, oil has been trading below $43 a barrel.
Stupp has been in business in Baton Rouge since 1952. It moved to its current site at Ronaldson Road in north Baton Rouge in 1967. In 2009, it dedicated an $80 million expansion that doubled its workforce to just under 400 employees. Stupp Coatings, which was founded in 1994, has operations at 12710 Leisure Road and at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge.