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Great Lakes announces three plant closings, 400 layoffs

Published on 2003-10-08. Author : SpecialChem

INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 8 -- Great Lakes Chemical Corp., a leading plastics additives maker, has announced plans to close three plastics additives plants in Europe and the U.S. and eliminate 9% of its workforce, or about 400 jobs.

Great Lakes plans to close its Newton-Aycliffe and Amlwch plants, both in the U.K. The facilities, which each employ about 100, manufacture flame retardants and related products. Also slated to be shut down is an antioxidants production facility in Newport, TN, which employs 50. Great Lakes is currently in discussions with labor groups and expects to finalize the closings in the next 90 days, a spokeswoman said.

Great Lakes said another 100 job cuts would come in administrative functions across the company. In July, the company announced the closing of packaging operations related to its recreational water treatment business in Toronto. A total of 50 jobs were eliminated and production was transitioned to Conyers, GA.

Great Lakes said the plant closings and job cuts are expected to generate annual pretax savings of approximately $30 million over the next 12 months. The actions will streamline operations, strengthen the company's cost position, and provide a strong platform for future growth, the company said.

"We have been monitoring economic conditions over the last several quarters and unfortunately the long anticipated benefits of a rebounding economy have not yet materialized," said Mark Bulriss, Great Lakes chairman, president, and chief executive officer. "With continued weakness in the markets we serve, Great Lakes must take proactive action to ensure we are properly positioned to remain competitive."

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