Fear of business closure looms in Poplar Bluff - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Fear of business closure looms in Poplar Bluff


Heartland News has taken dozens of calls from concerned employees and their families stating Fortis Plastic LLC informed them the operation would shut down in a few weeks.

From the front office in Poplar Bluff, to the corporate headquarters in South Bend, Indiana - no one with the company would confirm the shut down as of 6:15 p.m. Tuesday.

However, employees we spoke with say their supervisors sat them down this week to inform them they'd soon be out of a job.

"It's going to be hard," said Violet Sullivan. Sullivan worked for five years as a machine operator.

She and another operator, Donna Nelson, both say they had a feeling the days of Fortis could be numbered.

"We didn't have enough material," said Nelson. "There were just a lot of rumors."

Nelson, Sullivan, and other employees say they got the news during regular meetings at the beginning of their shifts.

"We had a meeting before work just like always," said Nelson. "They just told us they were closing the doors. They didn't say when they just said in three to six weeks they's close. That's all they told us."

Nelson says that was it. No letter. No word on unemployment. No mention of compensation.

"It's going to be right before the holidays," said Sullivan. "That's really going to be the crunch on money wise for presents and such."

We went to the plant's main office at the Poplar Bluff facility to get some more answers. Employees on duty, and others we later reached by phone told us 'no comment'.

Meanwhile, calls to the corporate headquarters in Indiana also brought no answers for employees who say they want to know more.

"I didn't like the way they were doing management," said Sullivan. "They didn't help anybody."

"A lot of people were shocked," said Nelson. "We don't know what we're going to do."

From the outside Tuesday, it appeared to be businesses as usual at the plant. Sullivan and Nelson say they will report for their regular shift until they hear a date for a permanent closure. Meanwhile, Nelson says she's already thinking about the future.

"I put in another application today," said Sullivan.

Again, no one from the Fortis company will confirm the shut down at this time.

Fortis makes parts for other area factories.

Managers at other suppliers like Fortis in the Poplar Bluff area tell us they knew Fortis would be closing.

Some say they anticipate picking up some business, and possibly could hire a few of their employees.

Stay with Heartland News for the latest on this developing story.

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