56 to lose jobs with plant closing

Hubbard workers ready to negotiate, get shocking news

Tribune Chronicle

HUBBARD — As workers prepared earlier this week for contract talks to open with the new owner of a local manufacturing plant, they were told instead the facility is slated to close by the end of the year.

Jose Arroyo, a United Steelworkers union representative, said Bway Corp., which bought the paint and can plant owned by Ball Corp. in March, only purchased the facility’s assets and not the union contract.

He said the closure will cost 56 members of the bargaining unit their jobs. It was not clear how many non-union workers will be impacted.

Arroyo said the union learned about Atlanta-based Bway’s plans on Tuesday as negotiations were scheduled to start.

“Workers were in shock,” he said. “They really didn’t expect this. We were ready to discuss a contract, not hear this.”

On Monday, several of the plant’s workers met with union leaders and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, in Niles to discuss their concerns about U.S-China trade relations. At the time, Bway workers said they were optimistic about contract talks with the company.

On Thursday, Arroyo said union leaders still hope to work out a plan to keep the plant open when they meet with company leaders next month for another round of contract talks.

The Tribune Chronicle was unable to reach Bway leaders for comment on Thursday.