Caucus formed to protect glass industry

Because of Libbey's unsuccessful attempt to buy Anchor Hocking in 2002, a legislative caucus has been formed to protect the interests of Ohio's glass industry.

State Reps. Tim Schaffer of Lancaster and Jeanine Perry of Toledo announced Thursday the formation of the Ohio House Glass Industry Caucus.

The caucus will research, evaluate and encourage the success of Ohio's glass manufacturers and processors.

Schaffer and Perry will co-chair the caucus.

"Ohio's glass industry employs thousands of Ohioans," Schaffer said in a news release. "As a result of international unfair trade competition and other marketplace factors, many of those manufacturers are struggling to survive."

Schaffer said the glass industry has suffered from intense foreign competition and competing products innovation. He said Ohio's leaders believe action on behalf of the glass industry is necessary now in order to avoid future job losses across the state.

"We developed the idea of forming a glass caucus after learning the proposed Anchor Hocking-Libbey merger failed approval by the Federal Trade Commission in 2002," Schaffer said. "We discovered there really is not anyone advocating for the glass industry."

The Federal Trade Commission opposed the merger, citing the sale would concentrate too much of the industry in too few hands, creating a monopoly.

After several unsuccessful attempts, Libbey finally withdrew from the deal.

Perry said she was grateful to Schaffer for asking her to serve as co-chair of the caucus.

"I appreciate (Schaffer) for giving me the opportunity to work with him on addressing the serious challenges that the glass industry is facing," Perry said. "I am confident that, in the end, we will have a successful outcome."

The Ohio House Glass Industry Caucus held its first meeting Wednesday at the Statehouse, two days after the announcement of Anchor Hocking being sold to Global Home Products LLC, an affiliate of New York City-based Cerberus Capital Management LP for close to $310 million.

Anchor Hocking makes beverage ware, serving ware, ovenware storage ware, and household and floral ware. The company employs about 1,000 people, and is Fairfield County's largest private employer.

600450 Caucus formed to protect glass industry
Date: 23 March 2004

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