Crown Cork & Seal Co. Inc., the giant Philadelphia-based aluminum and steel can manufacturer, will lay off 70 workers at its Canton plant this month.
The layoffs are the final phase of a three-year program to cut costs at the plant at 1200 S. Newkirk St., which makes high-speed beverage filling machines.
"We are reprofiling the operation," said B. Douglas Goodell, vice president of Crown Cork's machinery division. The company is shifting some of its production to local machining firms, he said. "The work is not leaving the area," Mr. Goodell said.
The layoffs will cut the work force to 250 from 320. Most of the layoffs will be among the 180 hourly workers, Mr. Goodell said. The plant has about 140 salaried employees.
The work force has been reduced by 40 to 50 workers over the last three years, he said.
Mr. Goodell did not have details about severance arrangements. Officials of the International Association of Machinists, the union that represents the workers, did not return phone calls.
The company also owns an aluminum can plant on Citation Road in the Golden Ring area of Baltimore County and a tin can operation in Salisbury.
Last October, Crown Cork closed a metal coating plant on Duncanwood Lane in East Baltimore, eliminating 60 jobs. The plant was shut because it duplicated operations at other Crown Cork plants, the company said at the time.
Crown Cork, founded in Baltimore 100 years ago, is one of the world's largest makers of aluminum and steel cans, turning out 280 billion annually.
In May 1992, Crown Cork made a commitment to city officials to keep the plant in East Baltimore and spend $4 million on improvements. In exchange, the city promised to make improvements in roads around the plant.