Industrial Plastics considers closing Ohio plant

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VALLEY CITY, OHIO (Feb. 10, 12:25 p.m. ET) — Management at an injection molding plant in Valley City is pondering whether to relocate the operation to a sister facility in Leitchfield, Ky.

Industrial Plastics Co. managers are in negotiations with the union representing workers at the site, Local 1820 of the Workers United.

A decision to move or stay will be based in costs associated with each factory, said MTD director of organizational development Kristee Mahler. Leitchfield has enough space to take up Valley City’s production. Overhead would be reduced if Valley City is closed. Leitchfield is closer to MTD factories in the southern United States that assemble its range of outdoor appliances such as lawnmowers and snowblowers. Also, Leitchfield workers are not represented by a union, Mahler said in a telephone interview.

“We are obliged to bargain in good faith, but there is no deadline for the negotiations,” Mahler explained. “Obviously we’d like it to be over quickly.”

The Valley City plant is one of several custom and captive injection molding plants supplying MTD, a private company. Equipment from Valley City would be relocated to Leitchfield by the end of the year if there is a move. About 140 Industrial Plastics Co. jobs would be affected by a relocation, although MTD’s headquarters staff of about 500, also in Valley City, would be unaffected.

Mahler could not provide equipment details for Valley City but she said the operation is organized along manufacturing cells.

A Workers United official could not be reached immediately to comment on negotiations.

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