Plant Shut Down and Layoffs, AGC Flat Glass North America Says it's
Well-Positioned to Meet Market Demands
In response to a continuing downturn in the U.S. marketplace for
flat glass, AGC Flat Glass North America ceased glassmaking operations
at its float glass manufacturing facility in Bridgeport, West Va.
(Jerry Run), yesterday, affecting approximately 232 employees. The
Jerry Run location primarily served the automotive market. In addition,
the company also carried out a temporary workforce reduction of
100 employees at its pattern glass plant located in Kingsport, Tenn.
(Blue Ridge). (CLICK
HERE to read the full press release).
According to Chris Correnti, AGC vice president, general counsel
and secretary, despite the plant closing and the layoffs, the company
is still well positioned to meet market demands.
"We still have inventory in the Jerry Run plant that we will
continue to ship as the market demands. We are also positioned to
bring assets back as we need to," Correnti says, referencing
the company's float line in Greenland, Tenn., that it shut down
last April as well as its plant in Victorville, Calif., that it
closed last August. "As demand grows we have those other lines
that we can bring back. Even in West Virginia, we have those assets
that we can bring back as the market justifies the need."
As a result of the plant closing, customers can expect to see little
change in the way they placed orders. According to Correnti, all
orders are processed through a centralized order-entry system so
orders will now be routed to one of the company's other manufacturing
locations. He says customers can still call on the company's inside
sales team or their outside sales rep with questions.
"Any jobs that had been in progress at Jerry Run were taken
into account during the planning stages these past few weeks and
If a job had to be resourced those customers have already be notified,"
No changes to transportation/shipping costs are expected as a result
of the plant closure.
For the 232 employees now without jobs at the West Virginia plant
Correnti says they will receive their WARN pay and "there are
also discussions with their union so there will likely be agreements
on certain things from that." As far as the Blue Ridge plant
he says that's a straight temporary layoff "and as part of
that there are certain things the employees are entitled to based
on their union contracts [though he could not disclose specifics].
We believe that this is truly temporary and expect the demand to
pick back up enough to bring those people back as the global economy
returns within the next year to 18 months," he adds, explaining
that the Blue Ridge plant serves a lot of overseas markets.
"We believe we are positioned to respond to the needs of the
market as we move forward. We are going to continue to focus on
solar glazing as well as the residential and commercial markets
and position ourselves to serve the demands of the customers,"
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