Stupp Corp., a Baton Rouge-based pipe fabrication company, said it will lay off 114 workers because of low demand for pipeline from the oil and gas industry.
“It’s a rough period in the oil and gas business and the steel business as well,” said Chip McAlpin, vice president of corporate strategy and development for Stupp.
Neither McAlpin nor the Louisiana Workforce Commission, which sent out a notice of the layoffs Friday, had an exact figure on the number of people currently working at Stupp. But the number of people affected by the layoffs was at least one-third of the workforce, because Stupp had to file a worker adjustment and retraining notification with the state agency. According to the notice, the layoffs started Monday and will wrap up by March 14.
“Our projection numbers are cyclical and driven by projects,” McAlpin said. “We flex up or down.”
The Stupp employees who are being affected by the layoffs are primarily manufacturing workers, because that makes up the bulk of the workforce.
Crude oil is trading below $33 a barrel. In 2012, when McAlpin said Stupp hit an employment high of 600 workers, oil spent much of the year trading above $100 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.
McAlpin said Stupp is committed to being in business. The company is actively bidding on jobs, but there will be limited opportunities for business until oil and gas prices improve.
“We’re looking forward for opportunities for more work in the future,” he said. “We hope to win those jobs and have a need to bring people back to staff shifts and run pipe.”
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