Solvay Invests in Unit Expansion at Marietta, Ohio, Plant

Solvay began planned expansion of its Marietta, Ohio, plant in March, growth that has already led to new hiring and may help ensure the facility’s future.

“It is good to see that Solvay recognizes the outstanding, quality work our members perform every day at the Marietta site by investing in the facility,” said International Secretary-Treasurer John Shinn, who oversees the union’s chemical sector. “This investment by the company goes a long way to securing the current jobs and increasing employment of good-paying union work.”

Solvay is expanding its sulfone polymers chemical business in the U.S. Sulfone polymers are high-heat transparent plastics that can withstand prolonged exposure to water, chemicals and temperatures.

The Marietta expansion will increase capacity by over 25 percent in 2024 of one of its sulfone polymers products, polysulfone, which is a rigid, high-strength plastic pellet.

Local 14200 President Gregory May said the company has not said how many workers it will hire as a result of the expansion, but unionized contractors and USW workers will be installing the new equipment.

Pictured: Local 14200 President Greg May.

“We’ve already increased manpower by four operators in the polysulfone unit so they can train as the new equipment arrives,” he said.

Local 14200 represents more than 200 hourly workers in operations, maintenance, materials handling and the lab.

Marietta’s polysulfone polymers product goes into medical equipment, such as filters for hemodialysis and dental instruments.

“What I’m most proud of is the use for hemodialysis because it saves lives and gives quality of life to people with severe kidney disease,” May said.

The other main industries that use Marietta’s product are in aerospace, such as in the trim work inside planes and in flight instrumentation; food service, such as in food trays, and the automobile market, such as in electronics and interiors.

May said he is excited about the expansion and what it means for the site’s future. 

“I believe it solidifies the Marietta site for the next 20 years,” he said. “The union and management, in my definition, have an excellent working relationship where we strive together to do what is best for the Solvay site and the employees there.”

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