PAWTUCKET, R.I. (Aug. 22) — Teknor Apex Co. said today that it will phase out its Rubber Division over the next several months, leading to the net loss of roughly 150 jobs.
Because of such trends as the shifting of rubber manufacturing overseas and new materials replacing rubber products, the Rubber Division has been "operating at a loss for some time," according to Teknor Apex President Jonathan Fain. "In recent months, the market has worsened. The high cost of oil has had a major impact on the car market."
The performance of Teknor´s other divisions has offset the Rubber Division´s losses, he said, but "with the downward pressures growing, we saw no opportunity to turn the division around."
The unit currently employs about 190 — 110 of those in Rhode Island and about 80 at the firm´s plant in Brownsville, Tenn. But through a voluntary early retirement incentive and transfer opportunities, the company estimates a loss of 85 jobs in Rhode Island and 65 in Tennessee.