Pacific Insight is laying off part of its workforce and transferring production to a facility in Mexico. File photo

Kootenay company to layoff part of workforce

Pacific Insight near Nelson says it is transferring automotive production to its Mexico facility

Pacific Insight announced Wednesday morning it’s laying off part of the workforce at its facility outside Nelson and transferring production to a facility in Monterrey, Mexico.

Kristine Walczak, vice president of corporate communications at Pacific Insight’s parent company Methode, told the Star she was unable to say how many employees are being let go or how big the workforce is at the engineering firm.

Pacific Insight designs and builds lighting and electronics for the automotive industry. Walczak said layoffs are related to the company’s automotive production, and that about 100 people will stay on at the Nelson facility to work on commercial vehicle production.

Walczak said the layoffs, which will take effect by Oct. 31, were prompted by changes in the automotive industry.

“It’s unpredictable. The economy really just requires us to continually evolve and change,” she said. “Our customers have been pressuring us to improve efficiencies and we’ve seen a lot of pricing pressure in the automotive industry and we just had to respond to that.”

Walczak said employees laid off will be offered severance packages.

Pacific Insight, which is located on Highway 3A, was acquired by the Chicago conglomerate Methode in August 2017 for approximately $144 million.

At the time, the company said it planned to keep all jobs in the Kootenays intact. Despite that, the layoffs had been expected internally, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

“A lot of people saw the writing on the wall at that time. Since then we’ve been moving contracts, work has been a lot less.”

The Star’s source estimated more than half the workforce in being let go, and was skeptical that Pacific Insight could stay at its current location.

“There are five production lines that run every day, and the majority of the products on those are all for automotive. That takes up more than a third of the floor space, and then another probably quarter or so is dedicated to the after-production of those products. So at least half the machines on the floor will be cleared out of there. I’d say likely more.”

It’s the second time this year that a local business owned by an international corporation has been hit by layoffs. Twenty-seven people were let go in June when Hawthorne Gardening opted to close Can-Filters, which had operated on the North Shore since 1989.

Related:

Pacific Insight purchased for $144 million

Can-Filters closes, 27 Nelson employees let go



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Road trip comes to end with split for Grand Forks Border Bruins

The team is coming off its longest road trip this season.

Grand Forks high school students remember

The school and the Legion joined for the annual Remembrance Day ceremony.

Letter: English town remembers Grand Forks on anniversary of Armistice

Phillip Morris writes from Shrewsbury, England.

Crowd gathers at Phoenix memorial for Remembrance Day

The small group shared remembrances around the campfire.

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Trump says report on Khashoggi death expected in a few days

Jamal Khashoggi was a columnist for The Washington Post who was slain Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

Most Read