Say you work for an injection molder that has closed at least 10 plants in three years. Would you come to work every day thinking it might be your last? That's the perspective of a Fortis Plastics LLC worker who sent this message last night: "I am a current employee at Fortis Plastics in Carlyle Ill. I would like to send my thoughts and prayers out to those employees who lost their jobs in the recent plant shutdowns. "Since the closing of the Ohio plant, we are now mandated to work 60 + hrs a week -- [we] went from 8-hour shifts to 12-hour shifts and we have no [human resources] department, and yet we are still being told our jobs are safe. "We have probably around 200 employees who all fear for their jobs. But our eyes are open -- we see what happens on a day-to-day basis and know it's just a matter of time before our mold injection equipment hits the auction. "People: these big corporations do not care what happens to us men and women working 60 hours per week to support our families. ... Thank you, good luck and God bless you all." The worker added some information about operations at the plant that I won't include here because I can't confirm them -- the company has not commented on our extensive coverage the past few months. I imagine the workers and the managers in Carlyle are in a tough spot. How do they keep up morale? Fortis formed in 2008 when Monomoy Capital Partners acquired and combined the custom molding divisions of Leggett & Platt Inc. and Atlantis Plastics Inc. As recently as 2010 the company was a major injection molder -- Fortis tied for 13th in Plastics News' 2010 ranking of North American molders with estimated sales of $280 million. But 2011 was a difficult year for the company. First came word that it was closing plants in Poplar Bluff and Fort Smith, then its corporate headquarters and molding plant in South Bend. Some of the closings were tied to shifting work at Whirlpool Corp. Now auctioneers are in the process of selling more than 130 injection presses and 20 extruders at four closed Fortis plants -- and workers in Carlyle are wondering what the future holds for them.
Inside story from a Fortis worker
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