Zimmer Holdings said less than 50 full-time employees will be out of work today as the company initiates programs to sustain growth.
Zimmer employees told StaceyPageOnline.com early this morning that a number of supervisors were “walked out” last night and that a series of town hall style meetings have been going on all week at the Warsaw facilities. In meetings with employees this morning, it was noted that supervisors with “poor performance reviews and in the bottom 5 percent” were among those terminated.
An official statement released by Zimmer spokesman Garry Clark, said that, “Over the past several years, Zimmer has pursued a number of transformation initiatives that position the company for sustained growth. These programs have enabled Zimmer to increase the productivity of our new product development programs and better meet the needs of our customers.
“As part of these ongoing efforts, the company today implemented certain actions that resulted in employee reductions across its businesses and geographic segments. All affected employees will be supported with a range of severance and outplacement benefits.”
One employee told us this morning, “Layoffs are not something that has been mentioned (but) moving existing smaller buildings into the distribution building when/if it ever goes to Memphis is something our boss expressed. (It’s) just a wait and see game they are playing with us right now.”
That same employee, who does not want to be identified, also said, “But with them getting rid of supervisors already means that something is in the works. Every time something like this happens something bigger is near.”
In March of 2012, the orthopedics device maker announced company-wide restructuring plans – including layoffs – to offset the entire burden posed by the anticipated $60 million medical device tax that came into play this year. That plan was aimed to save $400 million before 2016.
Last year company officials noted, “We do not expect to be able to offset the full impact of the U.S. medical device excise tax on net earnings through higher pricing on our products or through higher sales volumes resulting from the expansion of health insurance coverage.
“However, we do expect to offset the tax with cost savings from our operational excellence initiatives.”
Also last year, Zimmer spokesman Clark said Zimmer was then making plans to outsource its 120-employee transportation management team to a hub in Memphis, Tenn., beginning in the 3rd quarter, and would also cut about 50 other positions.
Less than 50 full-time employees were impacted by today’s changes in Warsaw.