About 50 people will lose their jobs at a PET bottle making facility in Effingham, Ill., as container manufacturing shifts to Coca-Cola bottling plants at several locations.
News broke March 3 about the decision to relocate the bottle making operations from Southeastern Container Inc.'s site in Effingham.
Southeastern Container Inc. is a privately owned cooperative under the ownership of a group of Coca-Cola bottling companies.
The decision to shutter the Effingham location comes as one bottler, Coca-Cola Refreshments USA Inc., is developing blow molding capabilities at bottling sites in Indianapolis, Lenexa, Kan., Egan, Minn., and Brampton, Ontario.
“When this transformation is complete, demand for bottles produced at the Effingham operations will decline, and the facility will cease operations in late 2015 or early 2016,” according to a statement from Southeastern Container.
“Right now, we don't have a whole lot of time line on it,” plant manager Eric Schober said in an interview with Plastics News.
“There are actually in the process of several projects in the Coca-Cola system to add blow molding capability to their manufacturing operations,” he said. “So there's several slated for this year throughout the Coca-Cola system and that's been the driver for this.”
Southeastern Container, the plant manager said, will explore the possibility of transferring workers to other of its company sites.
“We're going to try to do all we can to absorb that throughout the Southeastern Container system if there are other opportunities at our other facilities,” Schober said.
Coca-Cola Refreshments USA was formerly known as Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. and now is a subsidiary of parent company Coca-Cola Co. of Atlanta.
Southeastern Container, based in Enka, N.C., also said last month it was going to lay off 47 workers in Orlando, Fla., according to the Orlando Sentinel newspaper. A notice filed with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity on Feb. 18, however, indicated 70 employees would be affected and listed a layoff date of April 11 through Dec. 31.
And it was two years ago that Southeastern Container said it was closing its Beloit, Wis., facility. At that time, the company said production was shifting to Bowling Green, Ohio, and Effingham. That closure impacted 47 jobs, Plastics News reported at the time.