AcroTech Midwest Inc. of Riverton, Minn., will cease production at its blow molding site there by February and open a new location in Watertown, S.D.
The company is part of AcroTech Plastics Group in Crosby, Minn., a company focused on parts for the automotive and recreational vehicle markets. AcroTech will create about 125 jobs in Watertown, where officials held a groundbreaking Sept. 9.
According to AcroTech's Web site, the Riverton site handles blow molding and secondary operations. Its facility in Kerrville, Texas, handles injection molding and secondary operations. Combined, the two sites have more than 200,000 square feet of manufacturing space, 70 injection molding and 37 blow molding machines.
The Riverton site has 133 union workers, said John Rebrovich, international staff representative for the United Steelworkers of America, District 11 of Eveleth, Minn.
``The union will negotiate with the company to try to keep the plant open,'' Rebrovich said in a Sept. 10 telephone interview. Negotiations have not begun.
Local officials also are perplexed because they said AcroTech officials categorized the South Dakota move as an expansion until recently, said Rick Caligiuri, director of Minnesota's Dislocated Worker Program.
``This week, they finally notified the union,'' Caligiuri said by telephone Sept. 10. ``Their position up until very recently was that they'd expand.''
In a Sept. 9 story from the Brainerd Dispatch in Brainerd, Minn., AcroTech Midwest President Stephen Abernathy said the firm went through a total cost analysis and decided a new facility would be more competitive.
``It is a final decision,'' he said.