Mosaic Co (NYSE:MOS), aka The Mosaic Company, has filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, saying it was shutting down its Plant City operations at the end of 2017. The Plymouth, Minnesota-based fertilizer company said it will idle the Florida facility for at least one year.
The company’s decision to close its Plant City operations will be one of the biggest layoffs to hit the Tampa Bay, Florida area in 2017. So far, 21 companies have issued WARN notices for mass layoffs in the Tampa Bay area since the start of the year. A total of 2,836 people have lost their jobs in the area in 2017.
The Mosaic Company announced the mass layoffs after reporting decent third-quarter results. For the period ending on September 30, net income was $227.5 million ($0.65 per share), which is up from $39.2 million ($0.11 per share) in the third quarter of 2016.
So far this year, however, Mosaic’s share price has tumbled by almost 23%. In an effort to assuage investor concerns, President and CEO Joc O’Rourke said, “Mosaic is taking proactive steps to accelerate business performance. While these decisions are difficult and have impacts on our employees, today’s actions put Mosaic in a strong position to benefit as market dynamics improve.”
One of those key actions includes idling its Plant City, Florida plant, an action that is expected to result in higher phosphate margins and lower capital requirements.
As one of the world’s leading producers and marketers of concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients, Mosaic has a long history of mass layoffs. Over the last few years, the company has laid off thousands of workers at operations in both the U.S. and Canada.
In 2014, The Mosaic Company announced 500 job cuts that were expected to help reduce expenses by $500.0 million over five years. But that wasn’t enough; since then, the company has continued to announce large numbers of layoffs.
With depressed commodity prices, chances are good that The Mosaic Company will announce additional plans that will impact American workers.
“2017 WARN,” Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, November 3, 2017.
“Mosaic to close 430-employee Plant City fertilizer plant at year’s end,” Tampa Bay News, October 31, 2017.
“The Mosaic Company Reports Third Quarter 2017 Results,” The Mosaic Company, October 31, 2017.