Cardinal Tempered Glass in Chehalis has laid off 33 employees, with now just over 100 employees remaining at the plant that manufactures solar panels.
Mark Reidy, the plant manager in Chehalis, said Cardinal had to lay off the employees because the Chinese are dumping solar panels into the US market at a low price. According to Reidy, US manufacturers will continue to pay the price until the Department of Commerce imposes higher tariffs on foreign companies.
Cardinal TG, which used to take about 60 loads a week from Winlock to Chehalis, is now down to 20, and, in May, Reidy said, the company expects to take 40 loads a week but will not rehire any employees. Two shifts have also been taken off the manufacturing line at the Chehalis plant.
The Cardinal plant in Winlock must run 24 hours a day as it transforms raw materials into glass, while the Chehalis plant tempers the glass from Winlock so those furnaces can be shut down. According to Steve Smith, the plant manager in Winlock, no layoffs are anticipated there, where 214 people are currently employed.