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Announcement of Wilmington Plant Closure Stuns Union Rep

According to the Lowell Sun, the closing of the Philips Electronics Lightolier came as a major surprise to members of the union.

A Wilmington plant is closing its doors for good within one year, and according to a report, the decision came as a major surprise to union workers in Wilmington.

John Horak, who is the business manager and financial secretary for 197 union employees at Philips Electronics' Lightolier plant on Industrial Way, told the Lowell Sun over the weekend that he was blindsided to learn that the plant would be closing within six to nine months.

According to the newspaper, it was particularly surprising because the union contract was slated to expire on November 15 with negotiations on the docket for just two days proior.

"As you can imagine, it is very disheartening to be sitting in a room with the union committee and the Wilmington management staff knowing that they are losing their jobs," Horak said in the Lowell Sun article.

In total, the plant employs about 250 workers who manufacture fluorescent light fixtures. The Sun reported that the company had previously closed two of its facilities, one in Tennessee and one in California.

Town Manager Jeff Hull told The Sun that Wilmington receives about $250,000 annually in property taxes from Lightolier facility.

"Any time you lose a business, it's going to have an impact," Hull said, according to the newspaper. "We're disappointed that they're going to be closing."

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