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550 Jobless As Lock Plant Closes

September 13, 2002

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WAYNESBORO, Ga. (AP) _ Kwikset Corp., the world’s leading manufacturer of residential lock systems, will close its Waynesboro plant because of lagging sales. About 550 people will lose their jobs.

The company, a Black & Decker subsidiary based in Irvine, Calif., announced Thursday that the 175,000-square-foot plant that makes doorknobs and deadbolt locks will stop production by the end of 2003 and close in early 2004.

``I don’t think there’s anything we can do,″ Waynesboro Mayor Martin Dolin said. ``Our delegation went out to California to the home office and presented our case a few months ago.″

The plant does not expect to start layoffs this year. Employees will be given a 60-day notice before they are cut along with severance pay if they stay until their end date.

Plant officials are working to get laid-off employees benefits from the U.S. Department of Labor because a portion of the plant’s operations is being moved to Kwikset’s facility in Merical, Mexico.


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