Monday, October 4, 2010

Stanley Black & Decker to close R.I. plant

Company makes nails, staples and other products under the Bostitch name

Stanley Black & Decker is closing its East Greenwich, R.I. nail and staples factory and will lay off 128 workers. The company said 75 workers will keep their jobs and work at a smaller facility at an undetermined Rhode Island location. The East Greenwich factory makes nails and staples branded with the Bostitch name. In a statement, the company said it was making the move to keep the Bostitch business globally competitive

The shutdown will occur in stages, starting next March, as the factory gradually lays off 128 of the approximately 203 workers who remain there after a series of cutbacks in recent years. The factory will close by December, 2012.

The 75 workers who will keep their jobs will move into a smaller facility at an undetermined location in Rhode Island.
Stanley Fastening Systems, a subsidiary, operates the East Greenwich plant, which manufactures nails and staples branded with the Bostitch name. Production being done in East Greenwich will move to a new facility in Greenfield, Ind.

“This decision was made to realign the fixed-cost structure associated with manufacturing various types of steel fasteners, to enable the Bostitch business to remain globally competitive,” the New Britain, Conn.-based Stanley Black & Decker said in a statement.

The announcement of the shutdown follows earlier rounds of layoffs at the plant over the past several years. At its peak, the factory had about 1,400 workers in the 1980s. A decade ago, it appeared that the factory would close after some production shifted overseas, but it managed to survive. Still, by 2008, the work force had dropped to 633 workers, the Providence Journal reported.
The decline continued with the recession and the downturn in the construction industry. In February, the company announced that it would shut down nail production in East Greenwich this month and eliminate 165 positions.

Textron, the Rhode Island-based conglomerate, acquired Bostitch in 1966, and then sold it in 1986 for $193 million to The Stanley Works, based in New Britain, Conn. Sales were about $200 million then.

The Stanley Works merged with tool manufacturer Black & Decker last March to form Stanley Black & Decker. The company reported sales of $2.4 billion for the second quarter of this year.

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