Milacron Employees Facing Furloughs And Pay Cuts As Profits Fall

Cincinnati company challenged by high oil and resin prices, and downturn in new business orders.

CINCINNATI (AP) – Milacron Inc., a supplier of plastics processing equipment and metal-cutting fluids, that hasn't posted an annual profit in at least five years, will temporarily cut pay for some employees while about 800 others take two-week furloughs, the company announced Thursday.

''The purpose is to save people and jobs,'' said Al Beaupre, spokesman for the Cincinnati-based company.

About 800 employees in the company's injection molding operations in Batavia and Mount Orab will take two-week furloughs without pay on a staggered schedule over the next 16 weeks, Beaupre said.

Milacron stock has traded under $1 per share since last summer, when the New York Stock Exchange warned the company that it could face delisting or suspension if its average 30-day share price does not rise above the $1-a-share minimum in six months, a window that expires this week. The company has been listed on the NYSE for 60 years.

Milacron's shares fell 2 cents Wednesday to close at 87 cents. Fourth-quarter earnings and year-end results are due out Friday.

The company was expecting a turnaround in its injection molding business based on $30 million in new orders from an international plastics show in June, but industrywide orders have been down as much as 40 percent this year, Beaupre said.

The unit has been hurt by higher prices for oil and resin, and ''problems within the automotive supplier network,'' he said.

Workers can use vacation time during the furlough, and they will be eligible for unemployment benefits during the second week, he said.

Some employees who are considered essential to company operations will receive a 3 percent pay cut for the 16-week period instead of furloughs.

''We expect the market to recover in the second half of the year, and this is an attempt to maintain jobs until we see that improvement,'' Beaupre said.

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