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Local Union responds to Bemis sale

In a press release posted on the Bemis Company Inc. website, News 10 has learned the two companies have merged together.

Posted: Aug 7, 2018 3:12 PM
Updated: Aug 8, 2018 2:57 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - The world's largest packaging company just got bigger.

Australian based packaging company Amcor has acquired Bemis in an all-stock combination.

In a press release posted on the Bemis Company Inc. website, News 10 has learned the two companies have merged together.

That $6.8 billion has created a 'global leader' in consumer packaging.

The corporate office for Bemis is located in Wisconson.

In total, Bemis has 16,000 employees at 50 facilities in 10 different countries.

That includes their Terre Haute plant.

It's located at 1350 North Fruitridge Avenue.

News 10 has reached out to both the corporate and Terre Haute offices for comment.

So far, we haven't heard back.

The official transaction is set to close in the first quarter of next year.

We reached out Kirk Smith, president of the Local 1426 Union. In an email response, he said: 

"It's hard to take leaders of this Corporation at their word so Local 1426 hired an attorney and found out what would happen to our Union, pension and contract if we were bought out by another company. We have been prepared for this for the last 6 months. Our Union will remain the Union at the Terre Haute Amcor plant. Amcor will agree to continue our contract or we will immediately sit back down at the bargaining table with them in the first quarter of 2019.

We have a very strong Union and out of 580 people, there are only two non-Union Still Collecting All Benefits workers. Local 1426 has investigative Amcor in great detail over the last year. They are not direct competitors with what Bemis produces. We believe that they will use our line of product to put on to their rigid product materials that they produce and continue to service the customers we have now.

We believe that the Terre Haute plant will continue to run like it is now because we have highly skilled workers and our plant at Terre Haute is the flagship of the Bemis Corporation now. We are at the top at nearly every category, safety, production, efficiencies, scrap, oee, etc. Our Union Workforce does amazing things and I'm sure that Amcor will continue to invest in the Terre Haute plant.

It is very sad to see a 160-year-old American company being bought by an Australian company. The Terre Haute Bemis plant and local 1426 has provided thousands of households their wages and benefits over the last 62 years. After Bemis division president Neil Ganley retired approximately 15 years ago it seemed like Bemis stop caring about the people and only cared about the profits and production.

The corporate leadership of Bemis has made several poor decision over the last 10 years that has jeopardize our business and led to this acquisition. Our local plant management and supervisors are a great team to work with our Union, corporate is a whole different situation. It is sad that the leadership of this Corporation has put us into this situation. We will welcome Amcor with open arms and hopefully, we can work together as a team to ensure our members' job security, longevity, and a higher standard of living through wages and benefits."

 

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