Kimberly-Clark planning to close 2 Fox Valley facilities; 600 jobs to be cut

A view of Kimberly-Clark's Cold Spring Facility in Fox Crossing, Jan. 31, 2018. (WLUK/Gabrielle Mays)

NEENAH, Wis. (WLUK) -- Kimberly-Clark is considering closing two manufacturing facilities in the Fox Valley.

The company says it plans to close the Neenah Nonwovens Facility within the next 18 months. It plans to shut down the Cold Spring Facility in Fox Crossing, with final details coming after consultation and negotiation with the plant's labor union and other labor stakeholders.

The closures will affect about 600 employees, the company said. K-C currently employs about 3,200 people in the Neenah area.

As part of the recently announced global restructuring program, which is occurring within the next three years, Kimberly-Clark has today confirmed it has informed employees at the Neenah (WI) Cold Spring Facility, and the United Steelworkers Local 2-482 leadership, of its proposed plan to close this facility. Also today, Kimberly-Clark informed employees at the Neenah (WI) Nonwovens Facility, WI of its plan to close this facility within the next 18 months. Any final decisions related to the Neenah (WI) Cold Spring Facility will be announced by the company after appropriate consultation and/or negotiations with the union and other labor stakeholders. Business decisions that impact our employees are among the most difficult ones to make - we don't take such decisions lightly. We remain committed to treating our employees fairly and respectfully.

The closures are part of a worldwide restructuring plan announced a week ago. Kimberly-Clark plans to cut 5,000 to 5,500 jobs overall, about 12-13 percent of its workforce.

Neenah's mayor, Dean Kaufert said, "It's one of those days where you hope your community doesn't have to go through these things... I'm going to encourage that the union and the company sit down and talk about ways to possibly save that facility."

The maker of personal products such as Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers was founded in Neenah in the 1870s but moved its corporate headquarters to Irving, Texas in 1985.

A spokesperson said Kimberly-Clark will continue to be a part of the Fox Valley.

"We will continue to be one of the largest employers in the Neenah area, and our North American Consumer business will continue to be headquartered in Neenah. We remain committed to the Fox Cities community," read a statement.

According to the Fox Cities Regional Partnership, Kimberly-Clark is the third-largest employer in the Fox Valley. It will retain that spot even with the loss of 600 jobs.

Kaufert went on to say, "Whenever a company like this shuts down, the goods and services that they get from other companies within the region and then the valley and particularly Neenah, that goes away too so there's impacts felt down the road."

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