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Manufactured By:
Walker-Turner Co., Inc.
Jersey City, NJ; Plainfield, NJ

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Title: 1957 Article - Plant to Close
Source: Plainfield Courier-News. January 30, 1957, pg 1.
Insert Date: 1/8/2008 1:16:26 PM

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Text of article:

Walker-Turner Plant to Close Here Apr. 30; 200 to Lose Jobs

Economic Reasons Cited by Company

Plainfield operations of the Rockwell Manufacturing Company, formerly the Walker-Turner Division of Kearney & Trecker Corporation, will cease Apr. 30.

The company, citing economic conditions as its reason in closing its plant here, said its 200 employes would be dismissed.

The announcement was accepted with mixed emotions by employes, whose service years range from six months to 27 years.

The company manufactures small tools for light industrial purposes.

Samuel W. Brown, general manager, said Rockwell, which has main offices in Pittsburgh, would rehire dismissed employes at any of its 20 plants in the United States and Canada.

No Hardships Seen

Mr. Brown, who came here from Pittsburgh last May when Rockwell bought the 30-year-old business, said local industry and business houses probably would absorb many of the employees.

A job service outlet has been established at the plant and main office, 900 North Ave. Would-be employers, Mr. Brown said, have been invited to scan the records of employes.

Plant at Hopewell

Since many of the employes are local and area homeowners, Mr. Brown said he felt most of the personnel would remain here. Rockwell's nearest plant is at Hopewell.

Production at the plant will continue until late February, Mr. Brown said. A cleanup operation already is in progress.

All service parts will be shipped to Pittsburgh. All finished inventory, raw and in-process inventory, tooling, capital equipment and other property will be shipped to Bellefountaine, Ohio or Tupelo, Miss.

Will Fulfill Obligation

The company said it would fulfill its obligations with respect to vacation pay, pension plan and severance pay, both for those on the salary payroll and those covered under a contract with Local 435 [1], (IUE, AFL-CIO).

The company issued this statement:

While this may not surprise many of you, we are deeply sorry that economics will not permit continuing the Walker-Turner operations in Plainfield. With the rising cost of freight, high costs of operation in the metropolitan area, coupled with the fact that our market is nationwide, we must necessarily centralize our operation inland to assure continuation of the line.

Mr. Brown told employes: I'd like to express my regret that we were unsuccessful in overcoming the economic factors which necessitate the move.

We all tried, and your skill and energy in working towards continuing the Plainfield plant not only is appreciated by me personally but also it's been a real heartwarming experience to know and work with all of you. I'm sure that all of you want to continue working until you find jobs of your choosing. I'm only sorry we couldn't remain together.

[1] My copy of the article makes the Local number unclear. It could be Local 485 as well.

(Also on pg 1, below the fold)

Jobs Seen Available

The 200 employees who will be dismissed by Apr. 30 when the Rockwell Manufacturing Company closes its North Ave. plant here shouldn't have too much difficulty in obtaining new employment.

This is seen by James S. O'Neill, manager of the local office of the State Unemployment Service, 147 North Ave., and O. H. Hewit Jr., managing secretary of the Chamber of Commerce of the Plainfields.

Mr. O'Neill said today his office has on file demands for secretaries, stenographers, clerk-typists and skilled machinists.

Mr. Hewit, who said he was shocked to hear that Rockwell (formerly Walker-Turner Division of Kearney & Trecker Corporation) would leave the city, declared his office would assist in placing administrative personnel in jobs in this area.

He said Rockwell officials will forward names and histories of employees to his office for possible placement.
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