KM Plant Services, an industrial cleaning contractor, has laid off 67 workers in Highland after the loss of a major client.
The Houston-based company, which employs 2,000 workers at 20 sites nationwide, told the state of Indiana in a Workers Adjustment and Retraining Act, or WARN, notice it was laying off workers at its facility at 2552 Industrial Drive in Highland "due to the sudden loss of a major client."
"We are taking these employment actions because of business circumstances we were not able to reasonably foresee," Human Resources Manager Dan Carey wrote in a letter to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. "We would like to have given more notice of this action, but were unable to do so because of how quickly our operations were affected by the sudden loss of a major client."
The workers, who were represented by the International Union of Painters & Allied Trades and the United Steelworkers unions, were laid off on April 24.
KM Plant Services does industrial cleaning at oil refineries, steel mills, and other large facilities across the country.
The company did not specify which client it lost in Northwest Indiana and did not immediately return messages. The layoffs took place little more than two weeks after a KM Services employee, Frank Freer, died after a fall while doing routine cleaning at U.S. Steel's Gary Works steel mill in Gary.
U.S. Steel did not immediately return messages.
Freer, a 46-year-old resident of Pontiac, Illinois, died after a fall while he was doing routine cleaning at the steel mill on the Lake Michigan lakeshore. Freer, a widower and father of three who was engaged to be married again, worked as a hydroblaster for KM Plant Services for 20 years.