Tenneco Inc. Announces Closing of Hartwell Plant, Eliminating 579 Jobs

In Hart County, a major employer has announced it will close its Hartwell manufacturing plant as early as 2019.

Officials at Tenneco Inc. say the company will close its Hartwell plant along with its plant in Owen Sound, Ontario.

That means the loss of 579 jobs in Hart County and the Northeast Georgia region.

In a press release, Tenneco co-CEO Brian Kesseler said the plant closings are part of an initiative to realign its manufacturing footprint in response to changing market conditions.

Kesseler said the actions to realign the Company’s North American ride control operations will strengthen its long-term competitiveness.

He said company officials are working with the Hartwell community to provide transition assistance for all affected employees, including opportunities to transfer to other Tenneco locations.

The company expects to begin transferring current customer business primarily to its ride control facility in Kettering, Ohio, later this year.

The Hartwell Tenneco plant has come under fire over the past decade for continued safety violations.

Between 2012 and 2014, Tenneco was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for numerous and repeated safety violations and fined hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In 2013, a group of Hartwell plant employees sued Tenneco claiming they became ill after being exposed to the chemical hexavalent chromium, which causes cancer.

In 2014, OSHA placed Tenneco on its Severe Violator
Enforcement Program for, “demonstrating indifference to its OSHA Act obligations to provide a safe and healthful workplace for employees.”