Silver Eagle to lay off 55 Machinists

Portland-based Silver Eagle Manufacturing Co. notified the state that it will lay off 55 workers — members of Machinists Lodge 1005 — starting Dec. 17. Two office workers also will be let go.

Silver Eagle makes military trailers and other truck components at its headquarters at 5825 N.E. Skyport Way.

Machinists Union rep Britt Cornman said the company is eliminating its swing shift because the military reduced its contract for manufacturing light tactical trailers used with high mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicles.

Workers have been cranking out 750 trailers a month. The new order is for 350 trailers a month.

Cornman said Silver Eagle has been under contract with the military to manufacture the trailers since 2006. Up until that time, the company operated with 40 to 50 employees in the plant.

“They started ramping up for the military in 2006, hiring more assemblers,” Cornman said.

Employment peaked at 134 bargaining unit members this year.

Workers earn on average $14 to $15 per hour, plus benefits.

Labor’s Community Service Agency’s “rapid response” team met with the soon-to-be-displaced workers Nov. 2. Rapid response helps workers file for unemployment insurance and provides information for job search and retraining opportunities.

Cornman said because Silver Eagle had already scheduled a two-week maintenance shutdown at the end of the year, workers will receive all scheduled holiday and incentive pay prior to the Dec. 17 downsizing.

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