Tempur Sealy International Inc. will shut its Sealy mattress factory in St. Paul in September, affecting nearly 100 workers, company officials confirmed Friday.
"This business decision is driven by the closure of a large customer's nearby distribution center, and their business will now be serviced by other Tempur Sealy facilities," company spokesman Rick Maynard said in an e-mail. "We appreciate the loyal service of our St. Paul employees and are committed to assisting them with severance packages and outplacement services."
The last day for workers at the plant is expected to be Sept. 14.
The news was not unexpected. Sealy officials signaled months ago that the factory would close at some point.
Tempur Sealy notified the state on Friday of the layoffs with a notice required by the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
Company officials have been working with state employment professionals since June to work out a plan of action, said Shane Delaney, spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
Affected workers will likely receive help from Minnesota's Dislocated Worker Program.
In addition, the company has applied for a special federal trade adjustment program, Delaney said. If the application is accepted, the laid-off workers could be eligible for other forms of aid, such as employee relocation assistance and/or job retraining.
It is not clear whether affected employees in St. Paul will be offered employment opportunities at other Tempur Sealy plants around the country.
The Sealy factory in St. Paul was in the news earlier this year when complaints surfaced that black and Latino workers were repeatedly targeted for severe racial harassment. The company agreed to pay a $175,000 fine to settle the harassment complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Sealy also agreed to conduct anti-discrimination training.