One of the world's largest makers of plastic bags has closed one of its 11 manufacturing facilities.
Hartsville, S.C.-based Hilex Poly Co. LLC announced Feb. 4 the closure of a T-shirt bag plant in Victoria, Texas. The shutdown affects about 70 workers.
The Victoria Advocate reported Feb. 1 the plant closed its doors on Jan. 30 and employees are on 60-day administrative leaves, in accordance with the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
In a Feb. 4 e-mail, Hilex Vice President of Human Resources Joyce Foster said the company is working with former Victoria employees and the state workforce commission to place workers at other Hilex plants or in local jobs.
The company operates T-shirt bag plants in Carrollton and Farmers Branch, Texas, as well as a specialty film plant in Garland, Texas.
``We have a number [of workers] who have already expressed interest,'' Foster said. ``It's too soon for me to guess how many will actually move, as the job market in Victoria appears to be robust [enough] that most will be able to get jobs locally, if that is their preference.''
Hilex officials said the closure of the plant is part of the company's integration strategy following its 2005 acquisition of Vanguard Plastics Inc. At the time, the combined companies had 12 manufacturing facilities.
``While this is a very difficult decision, this action will allow us to reduce our overhead costs and increase our productions efficiencies,'' said Ben Mascarello, vice president of operations for Hilex, in a Feb. 4 release. ``Due to increased productivity across the rest of the Hilex plant network, the company does not expect to reduce overall production capacity.''
The Victoria plant was built in the late 1980s. Foster said it contains between $6 million and $7 million in equipment that can be relocated to other Hilex facilities.
Hilex ranks 13th among North American film and sheet manufacturers, according to Plastics News' most recent survey. The company had $680 million in sales in 2006.