MeadWestvaco Closing Envelope Plants, Cutting Jobs Again

MeadWestvaco said yesterday that it plans to close two manufacturing plants in Springfield, MA, as part of an ongoing consolidation that followed the company's formation from the merger of The Mead Corp. and Westvaco Corp. last January.

About 130 employees will lose their positions as part of the closures, which are to be complete by late November, MeadWestvaco said. The company expects the closures to cost $4 million but to benefit earnings in the near future.

One of the two Springfield plants manufactured envelope products used in the direct mail, bill-and-return and financial services industries. The other was a flexible-packaging plant that produced non-mailing consumer packaging envelopes. The plants are more than a century old and became part of Westvaco in 1960.

MeadWestvaco's Northeast envelope operations will be consolidated at a single plant in Enfield, CT, with some employees and equipment transferring. The company's Envelope Products division headquarters will remain in Springfield.

MeadWestvaco has said it will slash a total of 900 jobs in 2002. Cuts so far include an envelope plant in Worcester, MA, and 150 jobs; a consumer and office products facility in Front Royal, VA, and 160 jobs; and four paper machines, three in Chillicothe, OH, and one in Luke, MD, and 425 jobs.

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