Cenveo Corporation announced Jan. 30 that it will permanently close the former Graphic Arts Center plant, which occupies three-fourths of a city block at 2000 NW Wilson Ave.
Teamsters representative Adam Hoyt said the decision didn’t come as a complete surprise. At one time the plant employed over 300 workers, but in recent years under the ownership of multinational Cenveo, work has been shifting to other locations and the plant was operating at about a third of its capacity. In November 2015, Cenveo sold its Portland building and the 3.64 acres it sits on for $7.5 million to developer James Winkler, and continued production while leasing from the new owner. Winkler Development reportedly plans to redevelop the block for industrial or office use.
Local 117, based in Tukwila, Washington, has represented the plant since 2014, when it absorbed Graphic Communications International Union Local 767-M. Hoyt said the union will seek to negotiate some kind of severance benefit.
The State of Oregon and Labor’s Community Services Agency will also meet with the pink-slipped workers to help them sign up for unemployment and other benefits. Union wages at the plant range from $12 to $25 an hour.