Storage bin and outdoor products maker Akro-Mils Inc. will shutter its injection molding site in Akron, Ohio, by the first of the year and transfer work and equipment to two other sites in the Buckeye State.
Akro-Mils will keep its headquarters in Akron but will move some workers and molds to Wadsworth, Ohio, and injection presses to Sandusky, Ohio.
An Akro-Mils spokesman, reached by telephone Nov. 29, said the company originally informed the state in January of its intent to close the plant. The site now is for sale.
Meanwhile, Akro-Mils, owned by Myers Industries Inc., also of Akron, is adding 164,000 square feet to its Sandusky facility, according to Sandusky building permit officials.
A union official with the United Steelworkers of America said the Akron plant had 60 workers at 2005's start and that number has dwindled to 12. A year ago, the site employed 140.
``We reached a collective bargaining agreement in 2004 that we believe was cost containment to keep production in the Akron facility. We did what we had to do to keep that facility competitive,'' said Craig Hemsley, staff representative with Steelworkers' Subdistrict 1 office in Akron.
``My opinion is that they deliberately shut the plant and moved the work to nonunion facilities,'' he said.
A company spokesman disagreed.
``The company elected to close the facility because it was one of our oldest and it was one of our least-efficient,'' the spokesman said. ``That particular business had a seasonal slowdown in the consumer marketplace. That's where we were at the beginning of the year, and we didn't expect that to come back.''
Manufacturing had been phased out and the facility has been operating solely as a distribution site. The spokesman said other Myers Industries plants will accommodate the remaining work, and employees were offered job-placement assistance, including moves to Wadsworth.
The Akron site opened in 1964, officials said. The company, founded in 1947, moved its metals business to Sandusky a few years ago. The Sandusky site, now over 300,000 square feet, is producing a range of products, including metals and plastic materials-handling items.
In its third-quarter results released Nov. 1, officials reported the highest profit and sales for any third quarter in the company's history, at $4.94 million and $210 million, respectively. For the nine-month period, ended Sept. 30, sales reached a record $672 million.
The spokesman said Myers aggressively has been putting through price increases for the past year and a half.
``While seasonally the third quarter is our weakest, the performance this year reflects continued increases in selling prices across our product lines, improved sales volumes in most segments, [as] well as effective cost-control measures and strategic purchasing of plastic raw materials to help mitigate the impact of higher raw material costs,'' John Orr, president and chief executive officer, said in a Nov. 1 news release.