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A day after production was suspended at the Honeywell plant in Metropolis, union spokesman John Paul Smith said the company is classifying the work stoppage as a temporary layoff.

Members of the United Steel Workers Local 7-669 were told Thursday to leave the plant. Smith said no explanation was given at the time except that Honeywell was investigating claims of sabotage. Honeywell Spokesman Peter Dalpe said the company halted production after discovering damaged equipment.

With the action classified as a temporary layoff, Smith said employees are not to report to work until further notice.

Honeywell on Friday sent a letter to employees and union leadership outlining how the plant will be staffed, and how employees will be paid while the facility is inspected, according to a statement from Dalpe.

Dalpe said during normal operations the facility employs 338 people: 168 hourly union employees and 170 salaried employees. About 100 contractors work at the facility doing maintenance and other work.

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During the inspection period, 100 salaried employees will be involved in the inspection along with 90 contractors working on site unrelated to the inspection process.

Dalpe said there was no update available on Friday of the actual inspection, but said an inspector from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is on site to observe the process.

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