Ceramic Industry

Owens-Illinois To Close Two Plants

October 30, 2000
Owens-Illinois Inc. will close glass container plants in two states, eliminating about 570 jobs, or 1.5% of its overall work force, as part of a restructuring plan. The company blamed the closings on declining use of glass containers, excess capacity, and the need for cost cutting. About 380 workers at the company's Brockway, Pa., plant and about 190 at the Lakeland, Fla., plant will lose their jobs. Owens-Illinois recently reported a third-quarter loss of $449 million because of asbestos claims and a restructuring program that eliminated 350 jobs. The cuts are aimed at boosting profits and making Owens-Illinois more appealing to investors, who have become anxious about the company's asbestos liability and lackluster financial performance. The company, which stopped producing insulation that contained asbestos in 1958, has paid more than $1 billion in claims in the last 20 years. It has 38,000 employees worldwide.