KINGSPORT — AGC Flat Glass is temporarily cutting roughly half its work force at its Blue Ridge Plant in Kingsport, affecting 60 to 70 people by the end of this week.
Mike Vigna, AGC vice president of general administration, said Tuesday the company is suspending production on its tempering line for an undetermined period. The plant manufactures glass for the solar industry.
“What we’re looking at is the demand for solar glass. We’re trying to determine what that’s going to be so that we can start up and run effectively again,” Vigna said.
He said demand for American-made solar glass has been slashed by cheap imports, particularly from China.
“Everybody has the same problem that we do. The people who are making solar panels are having a great deal of difficulty with Chinese competition — and if they’re not able to make solar panels, they don’t need solar glass,” Vigna said.
“We’re hoping that the layoff is going to be a short one and that people won’t be affected too badly. We’re keeping our fingers crossed, but we don’t know. Nobody likes to be in a situation like this,” he said.
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