Packaging manufacturers continue to close production sites and reduce workforces, pointing to cost challenges and ongoing footprint optimization plans. Here are numerous announcements and updates from September.
- Domtar: The paper and pulp company, which has headquarters in South Carolina, announced this month it will “indefinitely” idle a plant in Ontario, affecting 450 employees. The site closure, which the company expects will last longer than a year, follows “years of ongoing operating losses and high costs associated with maintaining and operating the facility.”
- Menasha Packaging: Menasha has disclosed more layoffs in Illinois. It’s closing a plant on the West Side of Chicago and laying off 128 workers in November, Bisnow reported. The Wisconsin-based company also recently announced Illinois layoffs in Alsip, Edwardsville and Minooka.
- O-I Glass: O-I Glass is closing its glass container plant in Waco, Texas, impacting 300 employees. An O-I spokesperson said in an email that O-I has been “a proud member of the Waco community” since 1944, but the company said the decision “is consistent with the Company’s previously communicated initiatives to improve performance across its operations.” Production will stop mid-October and the plant will close on or after Dec. 1. O-I said it expects to record a $60 million charge in Q3 associated with the closure.
- Silgan Containers: The metal food packaging provider filed a notice with the state of Tennessee on Sept. 28 saying it will permanently close a manufacturing site in Trenton, Tennessee, on Nov. 27. The closure will affect 21 workers, who are not represented by a collective bargaining agreement.
- Sonoco: Sonoco is slated to shut down a plant in Exeter, California, come November, The Sentinel reported. The company cited cost reasons for the closure, which will affect 315 jobs.
- WestRock: WestRock disclosed layoffs happening in Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota and New York. WestRock is closing a Chicago facility and laying off 73 workers, according to a Sept. 28 notice. Louisville, Kentucky, news station WDRB reported WestRock is ceasing operations at two locations in the city. The operations serviced consumer packaging and will ramp down in mid-October, finishing in January, according to a spokesperson. WestRock is closing a facility in Fridley, Minnesota, affecting 70 employees, the Star Tribune reported, another hit to the region after announcing 130 layoffs and the closure of a St. Paul site last October. WestRock also announced it’s permanently closing a Patchogue, New York, facility for business reasons, affecting 70 employees come January.
- Stora Enso: The Finnish packaging maker shared an incremental update this month related to its previously announced restructuring. The company reported that actions taken as of Sept. 4 would result in 710 layoffs, of 1,150 expected as part of the total restructuring.
- TriMas: TriMas announced this summer it would close a leased manufacturing facility in Rohnert Park, California, and shift capacity to other U.S. plants, affecting more than 70 employees. The company said this month it completed ahead of schedule the relocation of production assets from that facility to sites in Arkansas and Indiana, putting it on track to exit the California facility by the end of this year.
Editor’s note: This list has been updated with the news of WestRock’s Chicago layoffs.