Sprague plant to close, lay off 79 workers

Sprague — Caraustar Industries Inc. notified the state Thursday that it intends to close its paperboard plant in Versailles and lay off 79 workers by the end of January.

Dave O’Hagan, vice president and regional general manager for Caraustar, said in a letter to the state Department of Labor released on the agency’s website today that 13 salaried and 66 hourly employees would be affected by the shutdown.

“Affected employees do not have bumping rights to other locations,” O’Hagan said in his letter. “It is expected that the closing will be completed on or about Jan. 30.”

Hourly employees at the plant are represented by the United Steel Workers Union.

Neither O’Hagan nor USW Local No. 4-00655 staff representative Michael Burnham could be reached for comment.

Among those losing their jobs in the layoffs were various factory employees, five managers, two customer service representatives and office help.

Paul Oates, a spokesman for the Labor Department, said the state filed a Trade Adjustment Act petition today that would give affected workers a chance to obtain retraining.

According to a history of the company, Caraustar acquired the Versailles plant in 1997 when it purchased the common stock of Oak Tree Packaging Corporation.

Caraustar reorganized last year as a private company after filing for Chapter 11 protection. In 2008, it reported sales of more than $800 million.

 

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