Two Employers Close Twin Cities Facilities, Lay Off Workers

MoneyGram plans to shutter a 376-worker plant in Brooklyn Center and is starting with 28 layoffs; meanwhile, Gannett Publishing disclosed plans to close a plant in Maple Grove.

Two employers recently notified state officials of plans to lay off workers in Minnesota.

Companies are required by law to notify the state of planned facility closures or other causes of mass layoffs. In a letter sent earlier this month, MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc., told Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) that it plans to restructure and reorganize its operations, and it’s closing a facility in Brooklyn Center as a result.

MoneyGram said it plans to close the location on December 31, 2015, and all jobs currently housed there will be eliminated or relocated. The company plans to begin transitioning some workers to other locations, and it will execute a series of layoffs—the first of which is scheduled for June 30.

While all 376 workers at MoneyGram’s Brooklyn Center location will be affected by the closure, the first round of layoffs in June will include only about 28 positions, the company said, pointing out that none of the positions are union-represented. MoneyGram said it has informed the affected employees.

MoneyGram—which at the time was one of Minnesota’s largest public companies—relocated its headquarters from its longtime home in St. Louis Park to Dallas in 2010. At the time of the headquarters move, a company spokesperson had told Twin Cities Business that no immediate layoffs were planned.

A company spokeswoman told the Star Tribune that MoneyGram is not renewing its lease in Brooklyn Center, and it is consolidating workers at its remaining facility in St. Louis Park.

“The restructuring and reorganizing activities that resulted in the closing of the Brooklyn Center location were difficult business decisions,” a MoneyGram official wrote in the recent letter to DEED. “Unfortunately economics makes it no longer cost effective to keep these positions at this location.”

Meanwhile, a separate letter to DEED, dated April 7, indicates that McLean, Virginia-based Gannett Publishing Services planned to close its “heat-set operation” in Maple Grove on April 25 or sometime shortly thereafter—and it expected to lay off approximately 141 employees as a result. Gannett said affected employees “will not have any right to bump or displace other employees working for the company.”