Owens Corning: unpaid leave at plant

Some employees of the Owens Corning plant in Newark, Ohio will be on unpaid furlough for 93 days during 2009, a company spokesman confirmed 20 January 2009.
The affected employees work in the glass w…

Some employees of the Owens Corning plant in Newark, Ohio will be on unpaid furlough for 93 days during 2009, a company spokesman confirmed 20 January 2009. The affected employees work in the glass wool factory at the plant, spokesman Jason Saragian said. It is not known how many employees are affected by the furloughs, but more than 700 work at the facility. The liner and pipe factories are not affected. “It was a great team effort with the union on this agreement”, Mr. Saragian said. “It helps align production capacity with market demand. It was a constructive and creative team effort”. Company and union officials met over the holidays to reach the agreement, which began to take effect in the new year. More than 90% of the union turned out for the vote and it was ratified with 93% acceptance, Mr. Saragian said. The agreement has some flexibility, including increasing production and supply to meet any jump in demand. The Owens Corning plant in Newark had more than 1,600 employees a decade ago and 950 in 2007, but has been hurt by the downturn in the housing market and the economic recession. The local plant was forced to cut half of its lines at one plant in 2008 because of economic conditions. The plant consists of three factories. The Newark facility began as Newark Star Glass Works in 1873, became the largest glass bottle factory in the world in 1910, shut down for four years after the Great Depression, then reopened in 1934 and became part of Owens Corning four years later.