Orange County Register
PUBLISHED: February 8, 2018 at 5:51 pm
UPDATED: February 9, 2018 at 9:29 am
— Kimberly-Clark intends to shutter its plant here as part of a restructuring it announced last month, the paper products giant has confirmed.
The plant, which opened in 1956, employs 330 people.
“Kimberly-Clark has informed employees at the Fullerton manufacturing facility of its proposed plan to close this facility,” company spokesperson Terry Balluck said in an email Thursday, Feb. 8.
On Jan. 23, Kimberly-Clark announced it will be cutting 5,000 to 5,500 jobs, or 12 percent to 13 percent of its workforce, along with shutting down about 10 plants in the United States and other countries “over the next three years.”
“They told our representatives in Fullerton that they will most likely close that plant in about 18 months,” said Greg Pallesen, president of the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers Union.
Pallesen said most of the employees at the Fullerton plant live in Orange County. Salaries range from about $80,000 to $100,000, he said.
“It came as horrible, shocking news to them,” Pallesen said. “Most have worked at the plant for years. They have kids in college and home mortgages. You always think it will happen to somebody else.”
Based in Irving, Texas, Kimberly-Clark makes household-name products including Kleenex, Kotex, Cottonelle and Huggies.
Fullerton City Manager Ken Domer said Kimberly-Clark “has been a great corporate partner in the city.”
“We are sad to see them leave but understand it’s a business decision,” Domer said.
Kimberly-Clark’s 1.3 million-square-foot factory sits on 66 acres of land “in the heart of our industrial area,” Domer said.
The company’s departure creates new opportunities, he said. “It’s rare that a developed city gets to look at such a large parcel and re-position for the future.”
Domer said the city will help Kimberly-Clark connect with potential buyers, such as high-tech companies, that would be interested in the property.