ADA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Amway is shedding as many as 900 employees, the vast majority of them from its world headquarters in Ada.
The West Michigan-based multilevel marketing giant announced the move to its employees in a Thursday memo, saying it was a “painful and difficult” part of a massive organizational restructuring. Amway cited a plan that has been in the works for at least seven months and, in part, the coronavirus pandemic.
The 900 employees account for about 6% of all 15,000 Amway employees across the world, the company said. Ninety percent of those losing their jobs work out of the Ada office, and most are expected to be gone from the company before the year is out.
More than 1,000 employees will be offered a voluntary separation program with severance and benefits, focusing on those who were already considering leaving for retirement or other professional opportunities. Management will get the option first and it will then go to lower-level employees. That program should wrap by July.
Some people are expected to be laid off. They will also get severance packages but they won’t be as big as those who opt in.
The pandemic has done no favors for the owner of Zeytin Bar & Restaurant, either. His kitchen is practically across the street from Amway.
“It’s been, as you know, a rough one year,” the owner, who identified himself only as Turan, said. “We just opened it with 50% capacity now and then everybody started coming in and Amway is our big lunch business for us, and that many people is definitely going to impact us. It is sad.”
Sharing in his sadness is Ada Township Supervisor Ross Leisman, who shared his statement on the layoffs with News 8:
“I believe that we’ll bounce back very shortly. Just stay tight and stay positive,” Turan said.
He’s holding on to hope for the company that has called this town home for decades.
“It’s like a family,” Turan said. “I’m sure they will bounce back very soon. And we’ll be back in action.”
Amway acknowledged the slimdown will change the way it operates and said leaders will do their best to support the remaining workers.
“The Global Leadership Team is committed to continuing work started to improve the overall employee experience, and we will stick to the intense prioritization we have set forth. This will not end up as a ‘just do more with less’ workplace,'” the memo promised.
Amway also noted it is creating 125 manufacturing jobs in Ada to make it one of two “Global Centers of Nutrition Manufacturing.” Amway said nutrition is its fastest growing sector. Some of those jobs will be moved from the Nutrilite tableting and packaging plants in the Los Angeles area to Ada. The shift, which will happen over the next few years, will reduce the workforce in the Los Angeles area by about half.
The company is also adjusting some of what gets manufactured in Ada to streamline personal and skincare products and outsource home care production, as well as moving its Midwest Service Center to Ada.