EUROPE - AGC Glass Europe Proposes Reduction in Production Capacity
February 21, 2012

Impacted by the combined effects of the sharp fall in demand and the large overcapacity in the European glass industry, AGC Glass Europe officials proposed to shut down two of its oldest glass furnaces in Europe: one of the four at its Moustier plant in Belgium and one in the Salerno plant in Italy.

The Moustier furnace has reached the end of its working life and will shut down in mid-March, according to a February 15 company news release. The absence of any sign of a recovery in the market precludes any plans for refurbishing it. Given the highly competitive environment, the management of the Moustier plant also announced at a meeting of the Works Council that it intends to reorganize its operations to raise its competitiveness in the current difficult situation. The dual initiative of furnace shut-down and reorganization could lead to the loss of 123 jobs out of a total of 719, and so will first be discussed with the labor unions. The consultations will also cover measures to soften the blow, such as setting up a re-employment team.

The Salerno plant has one production furnace, one laminated glass processing line and one distribution center. Under the continuing effects of the financial crisis and the local overcapacity, it is proposed to shut down the furnace at the end of February. The furnace employs 125 people out of a total of 140. Accordingly, its shut-down will be discussed with the labor organizations. The plant will continue its processing and distribution activities, according to the release.

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