J. E. Smith box company may close unit Union says up to 40 may lose their jobs

The J. E. Smith Co., a maker of paper boxes, plans to close its folding carton operation in Millersville in November and sell some of the equipment to a sister company, Chesapeake Fiber Packaging Co. in Cockeysville, according to a union official representing the workers.

As many as 40 of the company's approximately 70 hourly workers might be laid off, said Arnold E. Brown, vice president of the United Paperworkers of America. The other workers might be transferred to Chesapeake Fiber's Cockeysville operation, he said.


The shutdown does not include J. E. Smith's rigid box division, which also has operations at the Grover Road plant in Anne Arundel County, Mr. Brown said.

He said that negotiations with the company about the precise number of layoffs and transfers was expected to be completed in about a month. He did not know how many salaried workers might be let go.


Murrell E. Smith Jr., corporate secretary of J. E. Smith, declined -- to comment on the shutdown. "We're in the process of negotiating and you don't know what the outcome is until you come to the outcome," he said.

The Cockeysville plant, also owned by the Smith family, makes folding boxes and corrugated boxes, which are used for general shipping purposes, Mr. Brown said.

Folding cartons are used for packaging such items as shirts, while rigid boxes are used for such things as gift candy boxes, he said.

Started in 1899, the company was located in the 800 block of Leadenhall Street from 1935 to the early 1970s, when it moved to Millersville.