WestRock closing its Rochester plant at end of March - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

WestRock closing its Rochester plant at end of March

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WestRock corrugated container plant in Rochester WestRock corrugated container plant in Rochester
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -

A worldwide cardboard packaging company has decided to close its plant in Rochester.

It is part of a consolidation of facilities for WestRock, a company with headquarters in Atlanta employing some 45,000 people in ten nations around the globe.

In Rochester, WestRock leases a facility at 4165 West Highway 14 along the North Frontage Road.

WestRock spokeman John Pensec said 22 people who work at the Rochester operation will lose their jobs at the end of March.

"The company will provide some assistance to them," said Pensec.  "They will also be eligible to apply for other positions in WestRock plants.

Pensec said some of those other company facilities are in Minnesota, including a container board manufacturing plant in St. Paul, a corrugated container plant in Minneapolis, a recycling facility in Maple Grove, and a plant in St. Cloud.  In Rochester, WestRock workers make corrugated containers---cardboard boxes.

Among some of the workers there is a sense of frustration about the plant closing.

"At this WestRock location we are (members of the) steel workers union and there was a part in the contract about severance pay which the company has fought the union on and won, announcing that we will be payed a lower sub pay based off of a 40 hour week which normally we would work 58 hours on average," said one worker, who asked not to be named. "There is a general sense of being ripped off by my coworkers who have been there 20 to 30 years." 

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