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Baldwin Holiday Lay Offs

Baldwin Piano will be ceasing production at its Trumann, Ark.-based plant, according to a Dec. 8 article in the Trumann Democrat.

Baldwin notified Trumann chamber of commerce officials on Dec. 5 that it was permanently laying off 41 of its 55 employees.

“It’s sad for the community,” said Sheila Walters, Trumann’s mayor. “And I hate that it comes so close to Christmas. But I think it shows the filtering-down effect of the economic crisis in the country.” The mayor added that she was saddened by the news because Baldwin was a good employer and a good corporate citizen.

The announcement comes on the heels of recent figures released by the Labor Department, which showed that 533,000 Americans lost their jobs in November, the highest number in 34 years. Unemployment increased by 2.7 million, raising the national unemployment rate from 6.5 percent in October to 6.7 percent in November, a 15-year high.

Baldwin had been building pianos in Trumann for more than 30 years and was acquired by Gibson in 2001. The company laid off 34 employees in February 2008 in a decision to manufacture solely Baldwin’s custom line of pianos, which average in price around $60,000. MI