Sullivan glass plant closing

Owens Illinois Inc. will close a plant that makes plastic bottles for the health care industry, putting as many as 65 people out of work.

The company will begin phasing out operations next week at the plant near this southwest Indiana city 20 miles south of Terre Haute.Employees might be offered work at other Owens Illinois plants if they express interest in relocating, said company spokesman Sara Theis.The Sullivan plant, 20 miles south of Terre Haute, employs 55 hourly workers and 10 salaried employees.

The 63,000 square foot plant would need too much work for the company to meet stringent health care regulations, Theis said.

The company concluded that it could consolidate operations following the recent sale of its blow molded plastic container business, said Vincent Sarni, vice president of Owens Illinois Healthcare Packaging Inc.

The plant began operations in 1980 as part of the Dougherty Brothers Co. and was acquired by Owens Illinois in 1985.

Roy Terrell, president of Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastic and Allied Workers International Local 66, said the announcement Wednesday took him by surprise because three production workers were hired within the past three weeks.

“Our numbers were really good,” he said.

The company had more than 100 employees at one time, said Wanda Collins, union vice president.

Owens Illinois Inc., based in Toledo, Ohio, is the world’s largest maker of glass containers. It said earlier this month that it has changed its name to O I.

600450 Sullivan glass plant closing

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