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Graphic Packaging to close Charlotte facility, lay off over 100 employees

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (From news reports) -- A packaging company in southwest Charlotte is closing and laying off more than 100 employees.

Graphic Packaging International plans to close its facility at 800 Westinghouse Blvd. on March 31, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) recently filed with the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The closing will result in 112 layoffs starting March 11.

Graphic Packaging's Charlotte plant manufactures paper-based folding carton packages for food and other consumer products, company spokeswoman Sue Appleyard said.

"After an assessment of the company's overall converting portfolio, it was decided to consolidate Charlotte's production into our broader network of plants," Appleyard said.

Affected employees are encouraged to apply for other positions at GPI, Appleyard said, and the company also will provide outplacement services.

The Atlanta-based Fortune 500 company has another plant in the Charlotte area in Pineville.

Graphic Packaging is one of the largest producers of folding cartons and fiber-based food service products in the U.S. and Europe, according to company's website. Customers have included Harriet's Hamburgers in Charlotte.

Graphics Packaging purchased the 9-acre property in Steele Creek in 1999 for $4.7 million, Mecklenburg County property records show.

The over 100-year-old company now has more than 128 offices and facilities around the world and more than 24,000 employees, according to the website. The company also has North Carolina plants in Randleman, Lumberton and Winston-Salem and one in Clemson, S.C.

Last year, Graphic Packaging closed a 100-year-old paper mill in Tama, Iowa with 85 layoffs, and closed an Auburn, Indiana, plant, with 70 job cuts.

Another Atlanta-based packaging company also recently closed in the Charlotte area.

Hood Container cut 88 jobs at its 11135 Monroe Road, Matthews, facility, when it closed last month. The site was a design center and corrugator plant.

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