Pandemic forces Houston firm to close another Oklahoma plant

Two days after Houston-based Apergy reported a first quarter 2020 loss of nearly $660 million, the company announced the closing of its UPCO plant in Claremore and the layoff of 26 employees. UPCO is a subsidiary of Apergy.

The company made a WARN notification with Oklahoma’s Office of Workforce Development and blamed the need for the layoffs on the coronavirus pandemic.

“Because of unforeseeable business circumstances resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its significant impact on ongoing operations, Apergy USA, Inc. has made the difficult decision to close its UPCO Plant in Claremore, Oklahoma, located at 24403 Amah Parkway, Claremore, Oklahoma 74019. As a result, the Plant will cease production effective April 28, 2020. The closure of the Plant is expected to be permanent,” stated the company notification with the state.

“The closure of the Plant will result in termination of the employment of 26 full-time employees, no part-time employees, and no temporary employees,” added the announcement.

The announced layoffs followed the early-March shutdown of Apergy’s UPCO Inc. plant in Verdigris where 50 workers lost their jobs. The Verdigris plant manufactured sucker rods as part of the artificial lift technology in the well industry.

Earlier this week, Apergy issued its first quarter earnings report showing revenue was $261.4 million and net loss was $659.2 million with loss from the impairment calculation expected to be close to $750 million.

Sivasankaran “Soma” Somasundaram, President and Chief Executive Officer stated on Monday, “Apergy’s businesses are classified as critical infrastructure; therefore, our manufacturing and field locations remain operational.”  That was Monday. Wednesday brought a different announcement.

Apergy’s quarterly announcement did not hint at layoffs as the company CEO only spoke of the challenging times for the company.

“We will have completed most of the planned restructuring actions as we exit the second quarter, with the remaining actions completed by the middle of the third quarter. Additionally, we stand ready to take further actions as market conditions develop.”