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Meridian Machine Works hopes to restore lost jobs

By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
April 4, 2001
Officials with Meridian Machine Works Inc. said Tuesday they hope to restore more than 50 lost jobs in the next three to four weeks.
The most recent layoff came Friday when plant officials were forced to let go of 28 employees, said general manager Harold Johnson.
Employee cutbacks began in January, when 20 people were laid off, and continued in March when plant officials asked for six voluntary layoffs, he said. Those people are guaranteed insurance and other company benefits.
The plant normally employs 140 to 150 people, Johnson said.
Meridian Machine Works builds automated systems, made up of industrial machinery, that finish rolls of paper for the paper industry and wrap pulp for the pulpwood industry.
Problems at the Meridian plant began two to three years ago when company employees filled an $8 million contract for Indonesia.
Financial difficulties with Meridian Machine Works' group of North American companies coupled with global mergers and acquisitions made the problem worse, he said.
Johnson said if everything goes well with the banking agreement, the jobs should be restored within three to four weeks.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.