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WestRock to lay off 152, close Wheatley Heights plant

WestRock is closing its container plant in Wheatley

WestRock is closing its container plant in Wheatley Heights. Photo Credit: Google Maps

WestRock Co., a Richmond, Virginia-based packaging company, is closing its Wheatley Heights plant and laying off 152 employees, according to a WARN notice filed with the state.

The company said in the filing that the layoffs would take place by the end of October.

WestRock will ship work to an existing company facility in nearby Deer Park, Donna Owens Cox, chief communications officer at WestRock, said Wednesday. That facility employs 110 people, she said.

She added that the laid off employees could apply for positions in Deer Park and elsewhere at the company.

United Steelworkers Local 381 and International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 813 represent workers at the Wheatley Heights facility, according to the WARN notice.

Neither union would comment.

WestRock earlier this week completed its acquisition of the assets of Island Container Corp. and Combined Container Industries LLC, which together were independent producers of corrugated boxes, sheets and point-of-purchase displays. The assets acquired included the Wheatley Heights location.

WestRock has 300 operating and business locations worldwide. The company’s stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WRK.

Its stock closed up 38 cents Wednesday to $59.50. The shares are up almost 40 percent in the last year.

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