Packaging giant Rexam plc will close two U.S. plastics plants early next year in North Carolina and Florida, cutting about 285 jobs.
London-based Rexam on Sept. 24 announced the closing of its Hamlet, N.C., plant, to occur in the first quarter of 2010.
The factory employs about 220 manufacturing injection and compression molded closures, and custom packaging for food and beverage applications.
The North Carolina plant began operations in 1983. Its employees are represented by the GMP International union, which covers glass, molders and pottery workers. Union officials in Hamlet could not be reached for comment.
Rexam will move equipment from Hamlet to other U.S. plants to adjust overall production capacity, said Greg Brooke, spokes- man for Rexam Americas.
Graham Chipchase, group director of plastic packaging, said in a statement that Rexam is aligning manufacturing to improve operations.
It allows us to improve the overall utilization of our existing operations, balance capacity and demand and continue our focus on delivering world-class quality products and services to customers, he said.
Rexam in June announced the closing of its 65-employee Beach, Fla., plant. That plant makes foam pump dispensers for the personal-care and household product sectors.
Rexam acquired the Florida factory in 2006 as part of its acquisition of Dutch foam pump producer Airspray NV.
Rexam will absorb the work in its other plants, officials said.
Due to the global economic downturn, we have seen some areas of our business experience reduced volumes, Chipchase said.
The laid-off employees will receive severance packages and outplacement assistance.
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