A Riverhead manufacturing plant that makes magnesium-based heating pads used to heat Meals, Ready to-Eat (MREs) for the U.S. military will close and lay off its 60 workers.
The layoffs will occur by Feb. 28, Luxfer Magtech Inc. said in a state filing. The employees are represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1102, according to the notice.
Luxfer Magtech is a wholly owned subsidiary of Salford, England-based Luxfer Group, a global materials technology company. The firm owns four other production facilities in North America, and is in the process of acquiring an additional plant in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, Dan Stracner, global communications director for Luxfer Group, said Wednesday.
Work done at the Riverhead location will be moved to other U.S. sites, he said.
Stracner said employees have been notified of the plant closure and will be provided with job counseling and other human resource services. The facility is Luxfer’s only Long Island location.
“There’s also the possibility that some employees may relocate wherever the operations end up,” Stracner said.
The state’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act mandates that companies with at least 50 full-time employees must file a 90-day notice of a mass layoff or plant closing.
Luxfer Group, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, purchased the Riverhead operation’s former owner, Truetech Inc., and an affiliated company with a facility in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 2014 for an estimated $64 million, according to a company news release.
The plant, located at 680 Elton St., assembles magnesium-based heating pads used in MREs as well as the company’s own line of consumer self-heating meals and beverages. The plant also produces chemical decontamination and seawater desalinization kits.
“Flameless ration heaters” rely on chemical reactions created when water is added to the magnesium-iron pads to generate enough energy — up to 100 degrees — to heat precooked meals in about 10 minutes.
While familiar to service members across all branches of the U.S. military, Luxfer products are also used by disaster relief organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross, and are sold by some outdoor leisure retailers.