International Paper Co. to Close Fort Smith Plant

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International Paper Co. will close its Fort Smith plant this summer. The plant is located located at 1307 South 6th Street. The plant employs about eight people.

The closure will result in the loss of approximately six full-time jobs, according to company spokesperson Amy Sawyer.She says it won't affect the 150 workers at the plant on Planters Road or the 100 workers at the plant on Newlon Road.

The closure is an attempt to reduce excess capacity after International Paper Co. bought Temple-Inland, Inc., which also operates a factory on the north side of Fort Smith.

“Following the merger with Temple-Inland, we have more capacity than our customers need in this area,” said Doug Strickel, region general manager. “Other area facilities are better positioned to handle the production requirements that will be necessary as we consolidate our operations, and unfortunately, that led to the decision to close this plant.”

The company will provide severance and other benefits to affected employees.

“The most difficult part of this is the effect on employees and their families,” Strickel said. “We will work to assist them where possible during the closure process.”

During the next two months, International Paper Co. will also close operations in Chicago, Solon, Ohio and Santa Paula, Calif.

Employees at the four plants, which employ 215 workers in total, were told of the closings last week, according to the Memphis Business Journal.