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The 320 employees of Solo Cup Co.'s Springfield plant are keeping their jobs after all.
The 320 employees of Solo Cup Co.'s Springfield plant are keeping their jobs after all.

Solo Cup Co. rethinks Springfield plant closure

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Springfield’s Solo Cup Co. plant and its 320 employees aren’t going anywhere, despite plans to close the facility announced last year.

The Highland Park, Ill.-based company said June 30 it would keep the plant open indefinitely – and add 30 to 40 workers in the next few months, spokesperson Angie Chaplin said.

Solo had decided in 2005 to close the plant after it purchased Sweetheart Cup, but upon reviewing its integration plan, officials changed their minds.

“Because it’s such a high-performing plant, and because there are two very important product lines that are manufactured there, and because they’ve got such a terrific work force with a lot of skill and a lot of state-of-the-art technology, (company officials) did make the decision to change their mind and keep the plant open,” Chaplin said.

The final factor in keeping the plant was the ratification of a new four-year contract with 277 of Solo’s Springfield employees, represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1553, effective in February. The union had rejected a similar contract in May.

“The difference is they strengthened the provision for job security,” Chaplin said.

The contract includes increased benefits, increased short-term disability and a new benefit for long-term disability, Chaplin said.

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