O-I: Charlotte plant to close

Owens-Illinois Inc. (O-I) has announced that its manufacturing plant in Charlotte, which employs 137 people, will close on 1 May 2010, due to a decline in demand among food container customers, spokes…

Owens-Illinois Inc. (O-I) has announced that its manufacturing plant in Charlotte, which employs 137 people, will close on 1 May 2010, due to a decline in demand among food container customers, spokeswoman Stephanie Johnston said. The plant, located at 500 Packard Highway, and in the area since 1963, manufactures glass containers for consumer products. According to a statement from Miguel Escobar, president of Owens-Illinois North America, the Charlotte plant is one of the company“s highest cost operations in North America. “While we regret the impact this has on our Charlotte employees, it is imperative that we take such actions to ensure the long term health of the company,” he said. O-I, which operates 78 plants in 21 countries, said it also plans to close a plant in Clarion, Pennsylvania, that employs 420. Most employees will receive some form of severance, though details were not clear, and company and union officials plan to meet soon to discuss details, according to O-I. However, according to Bob Sherer, executive director of the Capital Area Manufacturing Council, the manufacturing sector in the Lansing area has shown signs of improvement after losing 8,000 jobs from 2000 to 2008. “Fortunately, we“ve been emerging from the bottom,” he said. “We“ve seen some job growth form later summer (2009), early fall. “There“s more on the way that will at least help offset that job loss at Owens-Illinois.”