WOODSTOCK, Ontario — Bridgestone Canada Inc. plans to close its Firestone Textiles Co. facility in Woodstock, which produces nylon-6-based reinforcement materials for Bridgestone's tires and non-tire businesses and and external customers, by the second half of 2018.
The closing, which affects 35 salaried employees and 135 hourly employees, will be conducted in phases beginning Dec. 31 and concluding in the second half of 2018. The Woodstock business is part of Bridgestone's Firestone Fibers & Textiles.
Bridgestone cited "increasing global competition and difficult market conditions" for its decision to close the plant, which opened in 1936. It did not comment on the potential cost or cost-savings associated with the closing.
Bridgestone said it will leverage assets at its Kings Mountain, N.C., textiles operation to meet customer demand in a cost-effective manner during the phase-down period.
In addition to severance packages, Bridgestone said it is working with the union representing hourly employees at Woodstock to determine how to support those affected, including exploring options such as outplacement assistance and onsite job fairs.
"We are committed to helping to reduce the impact of this decision on affected employees and the community," said Bill Thompson, COO of Bridgestone Americas Inc.
"We are proud of our long-standing presence in Woodstock and our Canadian footprint and are focused first on our employees through this transition, but also on our customers, suppliers and community partners."
The Woodstock plant produces reinforcement materials for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, Firestone Industrial Products and Firestone Building Products.
Bridgestone's remaining manufacturing presence in Canada is its tire plant in Joliette, Quebec, which recently was honored as a "significant job creator" in Quebec's Lanaudière region from a coalition of Quebec-based industrial and labor groups.