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Sonoco Mulling Closure of Carrickmacross Facility

Sonoco, one of the largest global packaging companies, has announced that it is considering the closure of its thermoformed packaging facility in Carrickmacross Co. Monaghan.

Declining sales of thermoformed packaging

The company is intending to enter consultation with the workforce over the coming months to assess the potential future viability of the plant.  The Carrickmacross factory makes thermoformed packages for a range of food processors primarily in Ireland and other parts of Europe.

“Due to shifting market conditions and a financially challenging competitive environment, we have made the difficult decision to consider the shut-down of operations at our Carrickmacross packaging plant. This decision in no way reflects on the performance of our Carrickmacross employees who have always provided high levels of commitment, safety, quality and productivity,” said Jeff DiPasquale, vice president and general manager, Thermoforming, Sonoco Plastics.

“If a shut-down of the facility is the final outcome, we will work diligently to ensure the closing of the Carrickmacross facility goes as smoothly as possible, not only for our employees, but also for our loyal customers, with minimal disruption to the quality and service they have come to expect,” added DiPasquale.

The Company reported that the business had been experiencing a loss of volume and profitability over the past several years and this pattern is continuing through 2013, leaving no viable option other than to consider closure of the facility.

“In the eventuality that this closure takes place, we are committed to working with each and every Sonoco employee affected by this decision. We would provide eligible employees with competitive severance, outplacement services and support in finding alternate employment,” said Sean Cairns, vice president of Rigid Paper and Plastics operations for Sonoco in Europe.

In the event the plant does shut down, Sonoco does not expect the first reduction in jobs to occur until October 2013. After that time, the Company’s plan would be to gradually scale back operations, targeting a plant closure on November 1, 2013. Until and if that time comes, operations will continue as normal.

Sonoco anticipates that up to 49 positions may become redundant if closure is determined to be the final decision. The company will consult with employee representatives from its Employee Forum to try and find ways to avoid the needs for redundancies, to reduce the number of employees affected and to mitigate the consequences of redundancies for employees.

Founded in 1899, Sonoco is a global provider of a variety of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging and packaging supply chain services. With annualised net sales of approximately $4.8 billion, the company has 19,900 employees working in 348 facilities in 35 countries, serving many of the world’s best known brands in some 85 nations.

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