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PPG idles production line ahead of schedule as economy faulters

Post Time:Jan 09,2009Classify:Company NewsView:729

The planned shutdown of one production line at the PPG Industries plant near Mount Zion has taken place earlier than originally expected.

The Pennsylvania-based company idled the line Dec. 31, and as a result, eliminated a total of 75 jobs at the plant. The layoffs of 44 production and 31 contract employees went into effect Monday, the company said.

The facility, which makes glass for the automotive and housing industries, had employed about 275 people before the layoffs.

"We recognize these difficult decision disrupt the lives of our dedicated employees," PPG spokesman Jeremy Neuhart said in a statement. "However, it is critical that we take these actions to address current business conditions."

When PPG announced in September that it would be shutting down the line, the activity was scheduled for the spring of 2009. The economy, however, has soured even more than expected, which the company said led it to accelerate its plans.

The company is trying to ensure that it matches production capacity with current market demand for its products. The end markets for the facility's products, such as residential window glass, have deteriorated significantly, Neuhart said.

The move comes as PPG restructures its performance glazings unit. It also is closing a facility in Ontario, Canada, as it attempts to save $100 million a year and survive the economic turmoil.

Mount Zion Mayor Don Robinson said in September that the impact of the jobs losses will be felt across the area. People work at the plant, which is located just outside the village limits, and live throughout Mount Zion, Decatur and Macon County.

The loss of 75 jobs is among the Decatur area's largest employment cuts that have been announced during the recent economic struggles.

Caterpillar Inc. cut 200 contract workers in December at its Decatur plant and faces an uncertain future with plans to move most of its motor grader line and 600 jobs to Arkansas as it focuses on mining trucks in Decatur.

Source: Herald&ReviewAuthor: shangyi

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