Knoxville plant to close; 88 workers lose jobs

Knoxville plant to close; 88 workers lose jobs


6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A Knoxville plant in operation since the 1940s plans to close its doors for good in August.

Employees of RockTenn, a facility on Anderson Road, were given a 60-day notice of the closure Tuesday. That means 13 salaried and 75 hourly employees will be without jobs.

A company spokesperson said the Knoxville plant is closing because of an "economic decision based on the plant capacity."

Workers said they were shocked by the news, but many of them said they understood the decision.

"It's just a good business decision they made and everything," said Merle Sheckles, a maintenance technician who worked at the plant for 10 years. "There's just going to be a lot of people out of jobs here."   

According to its website, RockTenn is one of North America's leading producers of corrugated and consumer packaging and recycling solutions, with annualized net sales of approximately $10 billion. 

The company is based in Norcross, Ga. and has operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Argentina and China.

The Knoxville plant was owned by Smurfit Stone Container Corp. before being bought out by RockTenn in 2011 as part of a $3.5 billion deal.  

The plant plans to operate at the Anderson Road facility until the end of August.

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