The consumer glassware manufacturer, a division of Ohio-based Lancaster Colony Corp., said Friday that it expects glass manufacturing at the plant to end about Nov. 26.Rumors of cutbacks at the plant have circulated for months following a labor dispute and a weak national retail market.In January, striking Indiana Glass workers agreed to a three-year contract with the company, ending a three-month walkout.
Lancaster Colony will continue to make glassware under the Indiana Glass name at its Sapulpa, Okla., plant.
The Dunkirk plant, the site of glass manufacturing since 1895, will operate primarily as a warehouse and shipping site. The plant's mold shop and mold cleaning operation also will continue for now, the company said.
About 50 to 60 jobs will be retained locally. Dunkirk is about 20 miles northeast of Muncie.
At its peak, Indiana Glass employed more than 500. But for the past several months, the plant has been operating well below full capacity.
"It's a tough market out there for the glass industry, Dunkirk Mayor Tom Johnson said told The Commercial Review on Portland. "They say the economy is getting better. It may be in Mexico, but not in the United States."
Company officials posted a notice of the decision to end production at the plant Friday. Letters explaining the decision were to be sent to employees.