Hood Packaging is closing its plastics plant.
Laszlo Horvath, Local 16506 United Steelworkers president, says it wasn't too much of a surprise when the company made its announcement. He says about 65 workers are affected.
The plant will close on Oct. 1. Layoffs have started and will continue until the plant closure.
"We figured it was happening. It's an American company. We felt they ran the equipment into the ground. The work and the new equipment were shipped to the States," says Horvath.
Ron More, a spokesperson for the company, says the work and some of the leftover equipment will be sent to the company's two remaining plastics plants in Calgary and Texas.
The plant has been losing money for the past few years due to a number of factors, he adds.
"It's purely financial," More says. "It's a very competitive business and the products and markets have changed quite substantially in the past few years. It's really unfortunate. It's never good to close a manufacturing plant."
The Burlington plant is one of the company's two corporate headquarters — the other is in Madison, Miss. Hood Packaging has 16 other locations throughout North America, including several in Canada.
Workers made paper and plastic packaging products at the Burlington plant. The paper packaging plant — which employs about 85 people — is not closing.
Horvath says most of the workers are between 45 and 55 and have worked at the same location for many years. Hood purchased the plant in 2000 but a packaging company has been at the McDowell Road site for about 50 years.
Hood Packaging Corp.