Austin Packaging Co. Could Close Completely

Posted at: 03/27/2013 7:46 PM
Updated at: 03/27/2013 8:03 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- On Monday, ABC 6 News broke the story of how the Austin Packaging Company would be laying off roughly 125 employees, or nearly half its workforce.
And now company officials are notifying employees that the entire company could be in jeopardy.

According to a legal filing ABC 6 News obtained, the company said if it were to close, it would likely happen sometime between April 15th and May 31st. The notice also says the previously reported layoffs are expected to begin in just two days.

Company officials said it's unlikely that the business will shut down entirely, but with the loss of nearly half their revenue, they don't rule out the fact that it is a possibility.

Officials said they are currently working to expand the business' liquid sauce division and are working to restructure the company’s finances.
Although the layoffs are coming more than a month earlier than expected, company officials said it's been a long time coming.

“It wasn't a surprise because employees who've worked here, some of them for many years on the pizza lines, have seen the volume decrease drastically over the last 9 months to a year or so,” said Jeffrey Thatcher, the company’s executive vice president. “We all saw it coming."

Right now the company is focused on helping the roughly 125 employees get back on their feet as soon as possible.

The company said they've already been contacted by several other companies interested in hiring those employees that are set be laid off on Friday.

And APC is also partnering with local workforce development groups and Riverland Community College to try and retrain employees and get them the help they need to prepare for new careers.

“We’re trying to get a job fair together where we'll recruit other companies to come in,” Thatcher said.  “So we're doing everything we can to help these employees find a new job as soon as they can."

Austin city officials said they've also been in contact with the company about trying to help with certain financial aspects to make the transition to a smaller company as smooth as possible.