A new product line at Libbey Glass in Shreveport has partially restored the workforce lost to 2013 downsizing
The international glassmaker had laid-off nearly 150 workers from their Jewella Avenue manufacturing plant as part of a company-wide restructuring plan. Now the company claims all hourly workers with recall rights that wanted to come back have.
Because of the new project, the plant was able to add 45 jobs, bringing the total employment at the plant to about 545, according to Shreveport plant manager Frank Russell. There are also many new staff.
"I'm very proud of the employees who went through the adversity of right sizing the company," Russell said. "It was a painful time for the facility."
Libbey announced plans to downsize employment at the same time they declared 2012 a record year for corporate gains with sales increased by 5 percent in its U.S. and Canadian markets.
However, glass beer mugs and ashtrays weren't selling and the products were discontinued. Since then, the company has invested $30 million into the facility to make stemware and tumblers.
The new line, called ‘Perfect Signature’ will launch in select retail and food service markets later this year. A broader roll out is planned for 2016.