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K-C To Close Diaper, Nonwovens Plants

March 15, 2006

Kimberly-Clark Corp. is proposing to close its Lakeview Diaper Plant in the Menasha, WI and sell or close its Neenah Nonwovens Mill, also in Wisconsin, according to company officials.
    Lakeview’s diaper plant and distribution plant employs 510 employees. K-C said in a statement it is working with Steelworkers Local 482’s leadership to come up with a plan to close the facility.
    “We hope to finish these talks in a timely manner, at which time we will be able to share more information about next steps, including timing and benefits that would be provided to the approximately 510 employees at the facility in the event of the closure,” said Tom Melsen, vice president of the baby and child care and product supply.
    Also this morning, K-C said it will sell or close its nonwovens mill by the end of the year. The plant employs 165.
    The moves are in sync with K-C’s efforts to consolidate its North American baby and child care manufacturing facilities. The plan was developed following a close review of all manufacturing facilities, Mr. Melsen said.
    Last summer, K-C announced it would trim 10% of its work force and close or sell 20 manufacturing plants by 2008. The cost-cutting moves are designed to save the Dallas-based company between $300 and $350 million annually in the face of increased global competition.