Odenton plant closes nearly 130 lose jobs

April 03, 1993|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

Nearly 130 people have lost their jobs as an Alabama-based paper company shut its plant in Odenton.

Officials for MacMillan Blodel Packaging Ltd. refused to comment on the closure, announced to workers a month ago, but state employment and union officials confirmed the shutdown yesterday.

"It was a shock at the time," said Harry Crout, president of Teamsters Local 355, which represented 20 truck drivers at the plant. "It just came out of the blue. Nobody realized they were going to do that. It's not like they went bankrupt or anything."

Marco Merrick, a spokesman for the state Department of Economic and Employment Development, said the cardboard manufacturing company employed 150 people, and some were scheduled to remain at work until a sale of the building to another paper company was completed.

Although the plant closed Thursday, he said 20 managers and an unspecified number of blue-collar workers would remain to watch over equipment.

The company is being sold to another cardboard company, Mr. Merrick said. But he could provide no other details.

MacMillan, based in Montgomery, Ala., has offices in New York, New Jersey and Canada. The company bought the Odenton company, on Telegraph Road, in 1971 from Hoerner Waldorf Corp., a corrugated container plant.

Company officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.

A worker at the plant, contacted by telephone, said employees were ordered not to talk. Clarence Hodgson, the plant's general manager, refused to comment.

Marcia Hall, the executive director of the West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, said she was surprised to learn of the closing. "We're sorry to hear of the layoff," she said. "It's a reflection of the stagnant economy."

Mr. Crout said his workers have been through several company changes in the past 25 to 30 years, and he plans to open negotiations with the new bosses as soon as the sale becomes final.

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