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Management Side
WestRock Closing Florida Box and Paper Facility
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Jacksonville, Florida, USA 19 July 2016 -- (From the Florida Times-Union) -- A 270,000-square-foot box and paper manufacturing facility on Jacksonville's Northside will close in September and will result in 127 workers who will be laid off.

WestRock, based in Norcross, Ga., announced the closure of the facility this month. Workers at the site have been informed but won't be formally laid off until mid-September. The Jacksonville facility being shut down is at 136 Eastport Road just south of the Main Street and Interstate 295 interchange. There are five other WestRock facilities that will remain operational in Jacksonville.

"Operating costs make it increasingly difficult to make products cost competitively at that particular plant," said Chris Augustine, communications director for WestRock.

The Eastport Road site was acquired by WestRock this year.

"It was opened in 1958. We acquired it in January of this year from a company called Cenveo Inc. It's a folding carton manufacturing facility. We bought several facilities from this Cenveo and this was one of them," Augustine said.

"This is obviously a difficult announcement that we're making due to the impact on the people. Unfortunately, we had to make the decision based on cost competitiveness," Augustine said.

The layoffs will impact all workers at the Eastport Road plant, Augustine said.

"The entire workforce," Augustine said. "About a quarter of them are salaried and about three-quarters are hourly.

"Employees at this [Jacksonville] facility are eligible to interview for openings at other WestRock facilities in your area. We employ approximately 1,000 employees in addition to the 127 that we're talking about," Augustine said. "The affected employees are eligible for separation pay with continued insurance, medical and dental benefits for the affected employee and their dependents."



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