OMYA To Close New Haven Plant
As many as 32 workers will lose jobs when OMYA,
Inc. closes the gates of its marble processing plant
in New Haven on December 31, a company spokesman said
"It was an old grinding plant - one we would
have had to spend substantial money on or phase out,"
said Robert Condon, a vice-president for OMYA's parent
company, Pluess Staufer Industries. "The decision
which was not easy - was to phase it out."
OMYA and Vermont Marble Company, based in Proctor
are subsidiaries of Pluess Staufer. The New Haven
operation was known as the white pigment plant.
Employees at the calcium carbonate plant in New
Haven were notified of the closure on Wednesday.
Condon said that under union contracts, OMYA was
required only to give five days notice of a closing.
"We purposefully made the announcement early,"
Condon said. "Considering the market conditions, we
wanted to give employees the opportunity to look at
The New Haven plant closure will leave OMYA with
two calcium carbonate plants in Florence. The company
also owns two calcium carbonate plants in Canada.
In the past, the New Haven plant has been a
supplier to the Canadian market, Condon said.
"OMYA believes it can maintain its production
levels at its two Florence plants - one of which is
state of the art and far more efficient than the New
Haven plant," Condon said.
Pluess Staufer, a Swiss multi-national
corporation, is one of the world's largest producers
of calcium carbonate, a marble dust that is used in
the manufacturing of paper, paint, toothpaste and
In 1976, Pluess Staufer purchased the Vermont
Marble Company. The name OMYA emerged from a Pluess
Staufer operation in Omey, France, where the residents
are referred to as "Omyats."
OMYA employs about 200 people, according to
Some of the New Haven plant employees are
represented by the Steel Workers of America. Condon
said he expected negotiations between OMYA and the
union over the rights and opportunities of union
Condon said probably no more than five workers
from the New Haven plant would be able to transfer to
one of the company's Florence operations.
One worker interviewed Thursday said he was still
shocked by the news of the impending closing.
"I'm still trying to get over the whole thing,"
said the employee, who asked not to be identified.
"It's kind of a let down. You put in time, they don't
even offer to train you. They don't offer much chance
to move around. But that's just the way it is. I
guess that's big business."