Tropicana to shut glass factory

Orange juice giant Tropicana Products Inc. is shutting down its glass bottle factory, leaving 225 people without jobs by early 2003.

Tropicana said it will give hiring preference to the bottle workers when other jobs open up at its sprawling complex.The layoffs come at the end of Tropicana's 10-year agreement with Saint-Gobain Containers Inc., a Muncie, Ind.-based glass company.Saint-Gobain runs the local plant and provides technology and support, although Tropicana owns the land and employs the workers.

Tropicana opted not to renew its deal with Saint-Gobain because it is shifting all its containers to plastic, which the company says consumers prefer.

Tropicana is Manatee County's largest private business employer, providing jobs for some 3,000 people at its headquarters and factory in east Bradenton, which is south of the Tampa Bay area.

The company is still forging ahead with a new headquarters building on a former parking lot next to its existing offices, along with three juice storage facilities on nearby industrial land.

600450 Tropicana to shut glass factory glassonweb.com

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