MY Holdings, which acquired two ex-Borden Inc. extrusion and thermoforming plants in Britain from AEP Industries Inc. in 1998, is closing one plant and cutting about 220 jobs.
The firm gave workers at MY Plastics Ltd. in Edinburgh, Scotland, three months' notice March 15, said a union official.
Management blamed British supermarkets for changing their packaging, said plant machine operator and union representative Eric McMillan. The plant thermoforms PVC and crystalline PET containers and food trays.
Workers argue the plant is profitable but lacks the investment to operate efficiently. They claim MY wants to move its business to a southern England MY facility so it can sell the prime Edinburgh site for commercial development, McMillan said.
A MY Holdings spokeswoman said the firm had no comment on plans for the Edinburgh plant.
Bagshot, England-based MY Holdings is owned by Malbak Ltd. of Cape Town, South Africa.
The closure news shocked workers since only a few months ago they had agreed to a compromise designed to save jobs. The deal involved a halt to overtime and flexible work in slack periods, and the firm would seek new premises for the business in nearby Livingston, said McMillan.
The plant has eight thermoforming lines and sheet extruding equipment, McMillan said. Three of the thermformers were installed after MY bought the business from AEP of South Hackensack, N.J.
MY offered to transfer some workers, but union officials said that is not practical because most have families in Edinburgh.