Industry Nostalgia High as Quebecor World Announces Plant Closings
Howard Goldstein, vice president for strategic sourcing at Houghton Mifflin, says, “[It’s] interesting to note that Kingsport was a leader in composition before the strike and then it went to zero. Its sister plant was the Hawkins County facility, which was closed in 2001 by Quebecor. Quebecor moved most of those presses and some equipment to Kingsport, which only made the workflow worse.”
According to Ross, “The decision to close the Kingsport facility was based on many factors including the changing needs of the publishing industry. The company’s U.S. book facilities will become more focused on specializing in specific product lines which, when combined with new equipment, will improve efficiencies and deliver better service to our customers,” he says.
Quebecor reports that the closings will involve restructuring charges of approximately $30 million.
Maloney also speculates that many Kingsport employees could find work in Quebecor’s other Tennessee facilities.
According to Ross, “The employees at both Kingsport and Brookfield are being provided with outplacement services to help them secure new employment, and this includes opportunities at other Quebecor World facilities.”
“Quebecor World has a history of good times and bad times. I guess they’re having challenging times now, but I think they’ll work through them,” says Maloney.
Several people commented that they have high hopes for the new president/CEO Wes Lucas to help steer the company in a positive direction.
Maloney adds, “As much as its hurts some people, [the closing of Kingsport] is probably something that needed to be done.”