Glass manufacturer temporarily shuts down

Saint-Gobain Containers shut down its second furnace Monday in the second phase of a temporary layoff at the glass plant as a result of economic pressures.

The first furnace shut down the last week of November, and part of the workforce was temporarily laid off then.

On Monday, the second phase of the "inventory management downtime" took effect with the plant shutting down its second furnace and laying off its remaining workers.

The plant on Firestone Parkway employs 350.

Workers are expected to return in the beginning of the year, after inventory has been adjusted, said Gina Behrman, manager of corporate communications for Saint-Gobain Containers Inc.

"The current U.S. and global financial crisis has slowed demand for virtually all products across most sectors of the economy over the past weeks," Behrman said.

"Saint-Gobain Containers Inc.’s plants have been working very hard to overcome these challenges, but some of our plants are now being impacted, primarily by a significant slowing in the demand for the various glass bottles and jars we produce," she said.

The decision was made to take inventory management downtime at several of the company’s plants beginning in late-November, she said.

The company filed temporary layoff claims for the employees and said they planned to bring them back after Christmas, said Terri Williams, manger of the Wilson office of the state Employment Security Commission/JobLink Center.

"They’re filing for them so they don’t have to come down here," she said. The paperwork goes straight to Raleigh instead. "It makes it easier for employees -- they don’t have to come down here, and if it’s temporary layoffs, they’re not required to look for work (while receiving unemployment)."

By Laura Keeter | Daily Times Staff Writer

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600450 Glass manufacturer temporarily shuts down
Date: 19 December 2008

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