BROOK PARK, OHIO - Continental Plastic Containers Inc., a major producer of blow molded plastic containers based in Norwalk, Conn., said it will close a bottle plant in the Cleveland suburb of Brook Park on Sept. 29, idling about 100 workers. The unit of Continental Can Co., also of Norwalk, said the closing was caused by a shift in customer base that resulted in excess capacity. Continental Plastic makes high density polyethylene containers for food, health and beauty aid products.
The company said only that production will be distributed to other Continental plants nationwide and will not be disrupted. Continental has 16 other plants in North America.
Swiss firm buying pipe maker R&G Sloane
LITTLE ROCK, ARK.-Georg Fischer Ltd. of Schaffhausen, Switzerland, will buy R&G Sloane Manufacturing Co., a plastic pipe and fittings manufacturer in Little Rock.
Etex SA, the Paris-based parent of R&G Sloane, also will stop making piping systems for the plumbing market because of continuing losses in that segment, according to an R&G Sloane news release. About 200 workers will lose their jobs from the discontinued plumbing operations, according to R&G Sloane.
The new company, George Fischer Sloane Inc., will continue to extrude pipe at Little Rock and employ more than 200. For Georg Fischer, the purchase strengthens its U.S. manufacturing. In Tustin, Calif., George Fischer Signet Inc. makes plastic pipe and fittings for the semiconductor industry and for water treatment and chemical processing.
The deal is to close in September. Terms were not disclosed.
During 1993 and 1994, R&G Sloane consolidated operations at Little Rock, closing pipe and fittings plants in California and Ohio. The company's sales were not available.
Hexcel, union bargain at acquired unit
WEST VALLEY CITY, UTAH -Amid strained relations, Hexcel Corp. and union members at the firm's newly acquired graphite fiber and preimpregnated materials plant will begin negotiations in August for a collective bargaining agreement.
James Conzen, director of human resources, said Hexcel offered workers at the West Valley City plant the same benefits package in place at other U.S. Hexcel facilities, and presented locally competitive wage rates.
On June 24 by a 3-1 ratio, members of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union Local 2-591 rejected Hexcel's proposal. On June 27, Hexcel acquired the composites products division of Hercules Inc. and made employment offers on company terms and conditions to the 170 hourly employees in Utah, giving them 10 days to respond.
Most OCAW members went back to work on assigned shifts, but, through July 15, more than seven resigned, including OCAW local vice president Leon Headrick.
``Hercules denied us a severance plan, and Hexcel wanted us to accept a concessionary five-year agreement in which everyone took a wage cut,'' said union spokeswoman Julie Holzer. ``We had a fairly positive relationship with Hercules, but the relationship with Hexcel is more adversarial.''
EPS bead makers seek 3 cent price hike
AKRON, OHIO - Four producers of expanded polystyrene bead said they are boosting prices.
Huntsman Chemical Corp.'s PS business unit in Chesapeake, Va.; Arco Chemical Co.'s PS unit in Monaca, Pa.; StyroChem International Inc. of Fort Worth, Texas; and BASF Corp. of Mount Olive, N.J., all announced they will increase prices for EPS bead by 3 cents per pound, effective Aug. 1.
Orbis eyes facility in Onconomowoc, Wis.
OCONOMOWOC, WIS. - Orbis, the Menasha Corp. division that makes plastic pallets and shipping containers, was negotiating last week to buy a 50,000-square-foot building in Oconomowoc for its offices.
Menasha announced formation of the Orbis division in April. The unit includes the company's materials-handling business in Watertown, Wis.; Convoy Plastic Pallets and LewiSystems. Convoy and LewiSystems both have offices, but no manufacturing, in Watertown, according to Jim Sarosiek, Menasha vice president and general counsel. If the deal goes through, the offices would move to Oconomowoc, he said. No manufacturing would be involved.