Shop-Vac, the manufacturer of wet/dry residential, commercial, and industrial vacuum cleaners, is laying off hundreds of workers and moving some production to China. GreatStar Tools USA Inc., a subsidiary of Hangzhous GreatStar Industrial Co. headquartered in Hangzhous, China, acquired the assets of Shop-Vac in December 2020, three months after the former owners began a phased shutdown. Gary DuBoff, company president, said that these measures are being taken to better control costs and to enable the company to continue rebuilding and restoring the iconic Shop-Vac brand.
Employees at Shop-Vac’s Williamsport plant were given warn notices on Friday, with an end date of Apr. 28. The jobs cut from the Williamsport plant will be moved overseas. Shop-Vac would not disclose its current employment figures for Williamsport, but due to the size of the layoffs, it must file notice under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), according to Jason Fink, president and CEO of the Williamsport Lycoming Chamber of Commerce.
GreatStar is part of Hangzhous GreatStar Industrial Co., which is headquartered in China. Some employees at the Williamsport plant were sent home after the announcement on Feb. 10. One source indicated that they are moving the vacuum and accessory production to China. Although the company still plans to operate some functions out of the Williamsport office, including human resources, finance, assembly, shipping and receiving, IT, and customer service, the news has sparked concerns about the loss of American jobs to China.
Lycoming County Commissioner Scott Metzger said he had heard rumors of a possible closing but had not heard confirmation of the information. “It’s obviously upsetting news if it’s true,” he said. “There will be some limited operation in Williamsport,” Fink reiterated. Our foremost concern is the employees impacted by job loss in addition to the city as a whole,” said Williamsport Mayor Derek Slaughter. “We have been engaged with the Governor’s Action Team, the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, and Shop-Vac to return a portion of the workforce to keep the facility in operation.”
The layoffs and move of production from Shop-Vac’s Williamsport plant to China have raised concerns about the loss of American jobs to China. The company stated that these measures are being taken to better control costs and to enable them to continue rebuilding and restoring the Shop-Vac brand.