WINTHROP — State labor officials said Thursday they are preparing for layoffs that may be of longer duration than those announced by Carleton Woolen Mills.
The company told more than 300 workers Thursday that they would be temporarily laid off during the first week of the new year, according to the state Labor Department. Carleton makes woolen fabric for apparel and felt for gaming tables.
Plant officials said they expected a return-to-work notice to be issued late next week. State labor officials expect to meet with Carleton management within the next few days to discuss developments at the plant.
The Labor Department “has been working closely with Carleton Woolen Mills to ensure that workers can get timely information and assistance,” said Labor Commissioner Valerie Landry.
“Of course, we hope these systems won’t have to be used, but they are there and available if necessary,” said Landry.
Carleton workers have been affected by a string of layoffs since mid-1998, including the shutdown of a Gardiner plant and a two-week shutdown in Winthrop mills that result from a global slowdown and foreign competition in the textile market.
Workers agreed to forgo a wage increase due to take effect in 1999 to help the company.