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Published: Thursday, 12/18/2008

Calphalon plant facing wage freeze

The plant in Perrysburg Township will not be shut down. The plant in Perrysburg Township will not be shut down.

Workers who produce Calphalon Cookware in Perrysburg Township won't get raises next year, but their plant is not on a list of factories scheduled to be temporarily idled next year.

"There will be no kind of shutdown there," said David Doolittle, a spokesman for owner Newell Rubbermaid Inc.

But the plant's 210 Perrysburg employees will be affected by a company-wide wage freeze in 2009 announced by executives to deal with slumping sales.

Newell Rubbermaid yesterday slashed its fourth-quarter profit and sales forecasts, blaming the slumping global economy. It said it will cut up to 10 percent of non-manufacturing jobs.

"The unprecedented rapidity of the economy's decline makes it difficult to anticipate an economic rebound any time soon," Chief Executive Mark Ketchum said in a statement. "Our expectations are for a more challenging business environment in 2009 than any we've seen to date."

Mr. Ketchum said the company is seeing "extraordinary volatility, weaker than expected demand, and customer inventory reductions" across its markets, and that trends were worsening near the end of the fourth quarter. Besides Calphalon, the firm also makes Rubbermaid storage products, Sharpie pens, and other household items.

Newell said it would cut 8 percent to 10 percent of its salaried jobs. It said the cuts, which already have begun, would continue into 2009. The Perrysburg plant is not affected.

The job cuts represent about 800 to 1,000 professional and managerial positions, a spokesman said. Newell has 20,000 employees worldwide, but half of those, which are manufacturing jobs, would be unaffected by the announced cuts, he said.

Newell also said that as of Jan. 1 there would not be any pay increases for the entire year.

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