April 15 is day for Holcim closing in Clarksville

April 15 is day for Holcim closing in Clarksville
Published: 04 February 2009

Holcim workers have been told the Clarksville cement plant will shut down by April 15.

“We continue to work with our employees to make sure they have what they need through this transition,” said spokeswoman Nancy Tully.

Tully said the assistance includes “internal and external resources,” which she declined to identify because it’s what she called an “employment issue.”

Tully said a few workers will remain after April 15 to finish grinding operations, but she didn’t have numbers or how long the process would last.

As the Courier-Post first reported last November, the Swiss-based company decided to close the Clarksville plant and another one in Michigan due to what it called “the extensive downturn in demand” for cement products.

The announcement that 181 jobs would be lost hit Clarksville and the rest of Pike County hard. State and local agencies have offered workshops, job assistance and other help.

The Pike County Development Authority has gotten inquiries about the 3,600-acre Holcim site two miles north of Clarksville on Highway 79.

Tully declined to discuss options for the site, which includes a barge-loading facility and a quarry with an estimated three decades worth of remaining limestone.

At a meeting last week, Holcim told local officials that the Clarksville closing was not a union-busting move. It had earlier said the Clarksville and Dundee, Mich., closings had nothing to do with construction of a $1 billion Holcim cement facility in Ste. Genevieve County 55 miles south of St. Louis.

Work there began in March 2006 and should be done later this year.