Glatfelter Axing 120 Jobs, Shutting Down Paper Machine
Century-old paper producer, P H Glatfelter Co (NYSE:GLT), has announced that the company is laying off 120 employees, the majority of whom will be affected at its manufacturing facility in Chillicothe, Ohio.
The paper producer has confirmed that the layoffs include 50 hourly-wage jobs at the Chillicothe paper mill. The remaining 70 positions being eliminated are salaried positions at the company’s Specialty Paper business unit. These job cuts will be taking place within Chillicothe as well as another manufacturing facility in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania.
According Glatfelter’s Chairman and CEO, Dante Parrini, the job cuts had become necessary for the company in order to strengthen its Specialty Paper business, where the company sees its long-term growth.
The 50 hourly positions being cut at the Chillicothe paper mill will result from the shutdown of one of Glatfelter’s paper machines. The company is closing Paper Machine 24 by the end of September in order to cut back on output.
The machine shutdown will result in nearly a 10% cut in its Specialty Paper unit’s production. Following the production cut, the company expects to bring its supply in line with the demand for its paper.
The Pennsylvania-based company has cited the imbalance between its products’ demand and supply to be the reason behind its cost-cutting measures. Glatfelter says that a supply glut coupled with declining demand has resulted in a sharp drop in selling prices for its specialty paper. The slump in sale prices is hurting the company’s margins and, as a consequence, the company is forced to cut its costs.
Glatfelter CEO explained the reasoning in a statement saying, “The supply-demand imbalance in the printing and writing markets continues to put pressure on industry operating rates and selling prices.”
Parrini added, “In light of the challenging market conditions, we must aggressively manage costs by eliminating capacity without impacting our ability to service our customers.”
The layoffs and the paper machine shutdown are expected to save the company millions in costs. Glatfelter estimates that its cost savings will boost its annual net profitability by nearly $9.0 million.
A company spokesperson has confirmed that the company no longer needs Paper Machine 24 and that the 120 layoffs are permanent. It is unlikely that any of these employees will be called back.
“Glatfelter announces 120 layoffs,” Chillicothe Gazette, July 27, 2017.