Nearly 100 people lost their jobs in Sumter, S.C., with little notice with the closure of an automotive supplier that uses recycled plastics. And there's more to come.
Gissing North America LLC, which previously filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, gave state employment officials just a one-day notice in late October that 98 workers would be cut. Another 10 workers are set to lose their positions by Nov. 15.
Closure of the facility, which in the past has operated under the names Martin Color Fi Inc. and Color Fi, is part of a larger bankruptcy case involving Gissing North America, an automotive supplier that sought bankruptcy court protection in August. The South Carolina facility made polyester staple fibers from recycled PET.
"The company is providing less than 60 days advance notice of this closing because it is caused by business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable at the time that 60-day notice would have been required," reads a letter from Chief Human Resources Officer Jessica Roast to the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.
"In addition, the company was actively seeking capital and business necessary to allow the facility to remain open at the time that 60-day notice would have been required, and giving notice at that time would have precluded the company from obtaining the needed capital and business," the letter states.
Roast could not be immediately reached by telephone Nov. 1 for additional comment.
"The company expects to close the entire facility and that the closing will be permanent," Roast states in the letter.
Gissing North America, based in Bingham Farms, Mich., filed for bankruptcy court protection in August while indicating it has both liabilities and assets ranging from $50 million to $100 million and between 200 and 999 creditors, according to a court filing. Creditors include several plastics-related companies.
The company owned by Wuxi Gissing Auto Parts Co. Ltd. of China, a maker of maker of cargo and acoustic management systems.
Martin Color-Fi, under previous ownership, sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection in 1998 under the weight of a $60 million loan it could not repay at the time.