The 190 employees had hoped for a future for their company until the very end, but on Tuesday at noon they received the news: The US company Glatfelter will close the traditional paper mill in the Nidda district of Ober-Schmitten as feared. Astrid Rasner, trade union secretary of the Mining, Chemical and Energy Industrial Union, confirmed this information to the F.A.Z. As a result, the city in the eastern Wetterau region is losing its second-largest employer. Mayor Thorsten Eberhard (CDU) speaks of sad news for this region.

Thorsten Winter

Correspondent of the Rhein-Main-Zeitung for Central Hesse and the Wetterau.

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At around 12 noon, the management informed the works council and the economic committee of the subsidiary about the end. However, there is confusion about the intended timing of the closure. According to her, Rasner understood it to mean that the company wanted to negotiate the social plan and the reconciliation of interests with the employee representatives by August 31. Other voices, on the other hand, would have spoken of an end at the end of August. The latter would be "absurd" from the point of view of the union secretary. This is because long-term employees have a notice period of seven months - in this respect, this period could not be met at all.

The management is silent about the reasons for the closure. She had not answered questions either in the works council or in the economic committee. Nor did the employees get through with questions an hour later. The workforce is in a state of shock. Everyone had hoped that a task force could bring a solution. However, the company did not get involved in this. "They don't respond to anything," Rasner said.

The company could not be reached by phone on Tuesday afternoon. Nearly four weeks ago, Glatfelter's North American headquarters announced that it was pursuing a strategy to improve the Group's financial results and optimize its product range. All products and companies that do not promise long-term growth and profit would be reviewed, including the Ober-Schmitten site. However, the work continues with the aim of selling the paper mill.