DaimlerChrysler spokesmen were not commenting on a published report that the automaker's long-term restructuring plan involves the loss of up to 20,000 jobs - most of them, apparently, on assembly lines in the US. The company has said it will announce details of the plan for its money-losing US unit Feb. 26. Citing sources familiar with DaimlerChrysler's thinking, the European edition of The Wall Street Journal said as many as six Chrysler plants also are likely to be closed. Massive cost savings promised at the time the US and German automakers merged in 1998 have yet to materialize, the newspaper said.
In a two-pronged, $1.1 billion move, forest products giant SCA (Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget) said it will buy a leading US supplier of packaging systems as well as parts of the Away From Home division of rival Georgia-Pacific Corp. The Away From Home acquisition positions SCA as the No. 3 producer of paper towels, napkins, and tissue products in the US. The purchase of Tuscarora Inc. of New Brighton, Pa., gives SCA a foothold in the market for foam plastics, corrugated paperboard, and wooden packaging for electronics, major appliances, and high-tech devices. SCA is based in Stockholm, Sweden.
Converse Inc., whose basketball shoes have been worn by such pro legends as Larry Bird, filed for federal bankruptcy protection and said it will lay off 1,000 workers. The North Reading, Mass., footwear, apparel, and athletic accessories company announced it will reorganize and seek to shift production from the US to plants in Asia.
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