Lowe's is laying off thousands of workers, outsourcing jobs

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Hardware chain Lowe’s is reportedly laying off thousands of workers this week, as they intend to begin outsourcing the jobs to third parties.

In an email to The Tribune on Thursday, Lowe’s spokesman Steve Salazar said the company is “moving to third-party assemblers and facility services to allow Lowe’s store associates to spend more time on the sales floor serving customers.”

These include store workers who constructed floor models and did janitorial work, according to an Associated Press report. The company did not disclose how many workers this included, though the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the layoffs, said the number was in the thousands.

Salazar said the laid off workers will be given transition pay and have the opportunity to apply for open roles at Lowe’s.

There are four Lowe’s stores in the San Francisco North Bay: Cotati, Vallejo, Fairfield and Vacaville.

When reached for comment by phone on Thursday, a store manager declined to discuss the layoffs, and directed further requests for comment to the company’s corporate office.

Salazar declined to disclose how many local employees would be impacted by the layoffs, saying the number varies by store.

“We have a strong track record of retaining associates in other roles within the company,” he added.

Lowe’s move comes after CEO Marvin Ellison took the reigns in July 2018; since then, Ellison has “thinned executive positions at the company and began paring away weaker selling items in its stores,” according to the AP report.

The company also closed all 99 of its Orchard Supply Hardware stores - including those in Marn, Napa and Sonoma counties - in late 2018 to focus on its core home improvement business.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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