CT company to lay off 71; total in state to lose jobs nears 600

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A Connecticut packaging company has notified the state Department of Labor that it intends to close a site and lay off up to 71 workers, records show.

Cascades Containerboard Packaging – Newtown, which is a division of Cascades Holding US Inc., notified the labor department in writing that it intends to permanently close its manufacturing facility located at 1 Edmond Road, Newtown.

The closure will take place between April 12, 2024 and April 26 “unless extended by an updated notice,” the company said in a notice to the labor department. The letter, dated Feb. 13, also notes that the layoff would take place 60 days after the notification to the department.

The notification to the labor department comes about two weeks after a Connecticut freight handling company notified the state that it will lay off nearly 400 workers and in an unrelated matter UPS has told the Department of Labor it will let go more than 100 people.

Cascades notes online that it “designs and manufactures corrugated packaging” and has “digital printing capabilities.” The company says it was founded in 1964 and “employs 10,000 women and men who work in almost 75 facilities in North America.”

In the matters earlier this month, Freight Handlers, LLC told the labor department in writing that “due to the termination of its contract with ADUSA Distribution, LLC”, the company plans “to wind down its business and close its operation located at 1315 Tolland Turnpike, Manchester.”

Erin DeWaters, spokesperson for ADUSA Distribution, said at the time that the warehouse at 1315 Tolland Turnpike is an ADUSA Distribution facility and would not close.

“The facility is not closing. ADUSA Distribution remains committed to Manchester and will continue all operations at this distribution center. The notice (to the state) is the result of a decision ADUSA Distribution made to self-manage the workforce at this distribution center,” DeWaters said.

Further,  in Windsor, all UPS employees assigned to the “CT Hub in a Box Twilight” and “Night Sorts” at 1 Market Circle, Windsor, “will be separated from employment,” the company told the labor department.

This is “due to volume loss in our network, the company told the labor department in writing.

The Cascades letter was sent to the labor department “Rapid Response Coordinator” as well as Newtown First Selectman Jeffrey Capeci.

“We have advised the employees that the layoff will be progressive between the above two dates,” the letter by Cascades Sector Human Resources Director Mathieu Cote said.  “We have also advised that this action is expected to be permanent.”

An email seeking comment was sent to Cote.

Cote wrote that, “While no bumping rights exist that would allow employees to retain their employment, as this is a complete plant closure, the employees’ Collective Bargaining Agreement does provide more senior employees with the opportunity to bump less senior employees provided they are qualified to perform the essential functions of the bumped employee’s position.”

He continued, “As such, employees will be given the opportunity to bump less senior employees, where applicable, which could allow them to retain their employment for several additional weeks until the complete closure of the plant is effectuated. All employees at this facility who do not otherwise secure employment with Cascades will be separated as the entire facility will be closed.”

Cote also noted that Cascades Containerboard Packaging – Newtown is a facility that “employs some individuals represented by the United Steel Workers, Local 4-0902.”

Cote wrote that Cascades additionally “is providing employees with support options such as outplacement services, workshops on job search and interviews, employee and family assistance program, psychological support, and retention allowances,” and that they are “subject to eligibility requirements after the conclusion of their employment.”

A copy of the notice was given to employees and union representatives on Feb. 12, 2024, the notice by Cote says.

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