Two local manufacturers planning layoffs, closings

December 24, 1992|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Staff Writer

Two local manufacturers, suffering from a shortage of orders, plan to lay off workers in early 1993, the companies said.

Saft America Inc., a French-owned battery company, is closing its Hunt Valley thermal battery plant and laying off 122 workers over the next several months because of declining defense orders, the company said.

Ball Metal Decorating and Service on West Ostend Street in Baltimore will lay off 35 workers in February. The company has furloughed 21 workers over the last several months.

The Saft operation, at 107 Beaver Court, has been making thermal batteries, which are used in torpedoes and missiles. These batteries burn themselves up as they generate electricity for the weapon, according to Matthew L. Sadinsky, vice president of human resources and administration for Saft.

With the decline in military spending worldwide, the company is consolidating operations and closing the Baltimore-area plant, he said. However, Saft will maintain a 30-person research and development operation in Hunt Valley, Mr. Sadinsky said.

The 122 jobs will be eliminated gradually from the end of December through July. The workers will receive severance payments, which will vary according to their salary and length of service. The company has also hired the firm Right Associates to help workers find new jobs, Mr. Sadinsky said.

The company, which is part of Saft SA of France, also has an aircraft and industrial battery factory in Valdosta, Ga. Saft produces a wide variety of batteries and markets them under the brand name Again And Again, Mr. Sadinsky said.

Ball Metal will lay off 35 workers between Feb. 1 and Feb. 15. The introduction of new equipment will shut down four of the company's six production lines, according to Donna Carroll, personnel manager for Ball Metal.

The company had already laid off 21 people from May through September because of the loss of customers, Ms. Carroll said.

The factory coats and prints sheets of metal that are used by other companies to produce tin cans. The Baltimore operation is now owned by Ball Corp. of Muncie, Ind., a food container firm known for distinctive jars used in home canning.

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