April 18, 2014

Medina
Mostly cloudy
54°F

53 jobs lost in Medina after sale of Vertis Communications

MEDINA — Vertis Communications is closing its Medina facility and 53 workers will lose their jobs, following a bankruptcy court-supervised acquisition by rival Wisconsin-based Quad/Graphics.

Claire Ho, a spokeswoman for Quad/Graphics, said the Medina facility is being closed because it was not part of the acquisition.

The Vertis Communications facility on East Smith Road in Medina is expected to close by May 31. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY LOREN GENSON)

“There are some facilities that were not included in the purchase,” she said.

Vertis, 620 E. Smith Road, is a print advertising and direct-marketing facility that produces advertising inserts and newspaper products for retail and consumer services companies, according to its website.

The Baltimore-based company has been under financial stress for several years and has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization three times since 2008. A Delaware bankruptcy judge approved the sale to Quad/Graphics in December.

In a news release detailing the deal, Quad/Graphics said it paid a net price of $170 million for Vertis. The purchase price was $267 million but that included a payment to Quad/Graphics of $97 million.

The Wisconsin-based company said the acquisition would save money and provide “increased manufacturing flexibility and distribution efficiencies from an extended geographic footprint.”

“We have had the opportunity to work very closely with Joel Quadracci (president and CEO of Quad/Graphics) and his team over these last several months in planning a successful integration,” Vertis CEO Gerald Sokol, Jr. said. “More than ever, we are convinced that this combination represents the best possible outcome for our customers, employees and other stakeholders.”

The Medina facility was American Color Graphics before it merged with Vertis in 2008. At that time, 20 employees were laid off and another 145 had uncertain futures because the merged companies announced plans to close the Medina facility. The plans changed and it remained open.

Vertis now has 53 employees, who will lose their jobs May 1 when the Medina facility shuts its doors, according to paperwork filed by the company with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

In addition to the Medina site, Vertis Communications operated an advertising insert and newspaper product facility in Columbus.

Quad/Graphics hasn’t announced plans to close that site and has posted a number of new job openings for the Columbus location on online job-finder sites.

Other Vertis sites that will close include North Brunswick, N.J.; Dallas; and Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada.

This isn’t the first time an acquisition by Quad/Graphics has resulted in job losses for the region.

In 2010, Quad/Graphics acquired World Color Press and shut down its Oberlin facility. A total of 119 employees lost their jobs when World Color Press closed the Lorain County site.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.

  • Anonymous

    Best possible outcome for employees? I’ve worked at the Medina facility for a decade. What did that get us? No severance, no warn pay, no vacation paid out, no straight answers on what was happening to the company for 6 months? All 53 of us are their puppets and left to fend for ourselves while our general manager reaped the benefits of splitting 4.7 million with 89 other people while we kept this plant afloat single handedly for 2 years. Enjoy that $52,000 Gary.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand how anyone losing their jobs can be the best thing for them. These people have families to take care of and feed but that’s not anything the higher ups have ever worried about. How about all those years spent aqay from their families, working every single day, keeping that company going and making profits for it? I kmow, personally, those people laid off didn’t think it was the best thing for them when it happened but at least they got their warn pay. What’s being done to these hard workers is wrong and I hope the karma truck haunts wvery single one of those profitting from this.

  • Mad In Canada

    http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2013/01/22/ex-employs-to-stage-information-picket-at-vertis-in-fort-erienhttp://www.bulletnewsniagara.ca/2013/01/26/video-former-vertis-employees-stage-protest-to-demand-changes-to-labour-laws/nWe feel your pain here in Canada too. Check out the links above. The Vertis plant here in Fort Erie, Ontario Canada was a profitable plant yet it is now closed. So sad for the over 100 employees and their families that you have affected. For Quad Graphics to claim that they are a family oriented business, you should be ashamed for destroying the lives of these ex employees and their families. Hard to pay mortgages, bills, and keep food on the table for the families. But to go from working one day and out the door within 24 hours the next is aweful. Here in Fort Erie my husband who had 21 hard working, loyal years to Vertis, was to work on Wednesday January 16th but on Tuesday January 15th received a message on the answering machine to come to a meeting on the 16th at 10:00. So the employees of Vertis showed for the meeting at 10:00 to be told to clean out their lockers and leave that their employment there was no longer. They have recieved absolutely no money such as termination pay or severance pay. Canadian law dictates that they legally have to pay severance and termination pay, but will never recieve that money. Even though the higher up all split a major amount of money while the actual hard working men and women on the floor will receive nothing!!! The majority of these hard working, dedicated and loyal workers had anywhere from 20 years and up in this plant. Good luck to anyone who thinks that Quad Graphics is the solution. Hope they don’t take away from your families like they have taken away from ours. Karma will come back to bite all of you who have had a hand in this. Thanks for nothing after all these years…Oh yeah and P.S. Quad Graphics, you bought the printing presses just so that you can melt them down and eliminate some competition but the men and women, yes ex employees of Vertis, are standing strong out on a picket line waiting to get what is rightfully theirs, and until Quad Graphics (Joel Quadracci) gives these ex employees the dignity and respect they deserve they will remain strong out there. How shameful for a family owned business to absolutely destroy the hard working and loyal families for the almightly dollar!!! Shame, on you. Hope you can sleep at night knowing what you have done!! So honor these men and women and give them what they worked all those years for and earned. Give them their severance and termination pay that is legally owed to them!!

  • Anonymous

    @ anonymous from Medina. You also failed to mention the false hope given to us by our general manager Gary Hartman that if we stayed profitable the was a good chance we would stay open, because if we did not stay profitable he wouldn’t receive that bonus. So we all worked our butts off to keep our jobs. Now that Gary received this money why have the meetings stopped? I haven’t seen him on the press room floor since. Your welcome Mr. Hartman. And thanks for nothing.

  • rooster1966

    Rooster1966nMad in Canada is bang our with her comments.nThe only families that Quad is interested in is their so called family which include bankers and shareholders. It is not the families of the people that bust thier butts to make a profit for the company.nI remember a time when us in Canada had gain sharing, it was okay for awhile when we getting a $ 100.00 or so a quarter, but when we start getting upwards of $4 or 500.00. The Company then started taking that away from us and our families, and making the families of the share holders happy.nJust a friendly reminder to all Quad employees that are still working you are only a number.nNumber 45303 signing out.

  • Rooster1966

    Rooster1966nMe again just wanted to give a shout out to my brothers and sisters in Canada that are braving the elements and being out on the line 24/7 stopping Quad from taking our assets out of our plant. nRemember there is strength in numbers, and we are only as strong as our weakest link. So remember brothers and sisters that nobody from Quad goes in, an nothing comes out untill we get what is rightfully ours.nTo the people on the line tonight dress warm and even the snow removal guys do not go in.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/D7A7V4KATCGASMLLCXP4MV3IBA Jim C

    You are right rooster. We are only as strong as our weakest link. At least Medina got notice they are done on May 1st. We did’nt even receive 24 hrs notice in Canada. We were also told that we could probably be kept open as a profitable division. We were under false pretenses of job security because Quad made it look that way by bringing in paper, having all of Januarys schedule and the first 2 weeks of February schedule up. Then BANG!!!!! Thrown to the curb like trash by a “FAMILY ORIENTATED” company. At least Quad had the decency to tell the workers in Medina and MAYBE Dallas of a final day. We WEREN’T even given that respect. Maybe because we’re Canadian? As long as we keep the protest up at the front gate and the Quad idiots see us there and realize it’s gonna be a fight to get their stuff out of that plant maybe JUST maybe they’ll realize that under CANADIAN law they owe us our severance pay plus 8 weeks lieu of notice. Quads BIGGEST assest in the Stevensville plant is the paper. There is MILLIONS of dollars worth of paper in the plant. We keep the paper in the plant and they miss delivery schedules for Lowes Canada and Sears Canada then the heat will start on Quad. We’ve already turned trucks away, even the company that supplied the uniforms. Quad stands to make MILLIONS from scrapping the presses. Well we in Canada know that the presses were scrap 20 yrs ago. Whatever Quad budgeted to clean out the Stevensville plant I’m hoping it costs them 50X more. Maybe then they’ll realize they should have grown a set of balls and taken responsibilty for our ILLEGAL termination. Vertis NEVER declared bankruptcy in Canada and Quad ran the presses after the sale closing date. SOMEBODY has to grow a set of balls and pay us our LEGALLY due monies!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/vicg8 Victoria Gaitskell

    Do you have any updates on the resolution of outstanding labour issues arising from either the Medina or Fort Erie shutdowns? As far as I know, although the closure of the Fort Erie Vertis plant has raised lots of controversy, it still remains unresolved.nhttp://vicg8.blogspot.ca/2013/01/sudden-closure-of-canadas-only-vertis.html nnnnhttp://vicg8.blogspot.ca/2013/01/mpp-kim-craitor-champions-ex-employees.html

  • Made In Canada

    Unforunately Fort Erie has not been resolved therefore there is a picket by ex employees until they get what they deserve and have worked all these years and legally earned…stand strong

  • Mad In Canada

    Unfortunately Fort Erie has not been resolved therefore there is a picket by ex employees until they get what they deserve and what they have worked for all these years and legally earned…stand strong

  • http://twitter.com/vicg8 Victoria Gaitskell

    Thanks; please keep me posted, and I will endeavour to do the same for my readers. http://vicg8.blogspot.ca/2013/02/may-closure-of-vertis-plant-in-medina.html

  • Rooster1966
  • Rooster1966
  • Rooster1966

    Victoria try this for future information on what is happening in Canada.http://www.chch.com/component/k2/itemlist/search?searchword=vertis+communications

  • Rooster1966

    Victoria do you know of anybody that has any connections at the papers in Wissconsin were Quad headquaters is located.Because I would like to put something in their regarding Quad and their family orientated business.

  • http://twitter.com/vicg8 Victoria Gaitskell

    Thanks for the helpful link to information on the recent escalation of Ontario protests, Rooster. I’m sorry that I don’t have any personal contacts in Wisconsin media to give you, but I’ll continue to try to keep my readers informed via my printing blog and LinkedIn. Please continue to keep me in the loop from your end. http://vicg8.blogspot.ca/2013/02/may-closure-of-vertis-plant-in-medina.html

  • http://twitter.com/vicg8 Victoria Gaitskell

    At least someone is still happy with Quad/Graphics: their shareholders. The company enjoyed profits of $21 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 and on Monday March 4th declared a quarterly dividend. Their shareholders of record on Monday, March 18th will be given a dividend of $0.30nper share on Friday, March 29th. For links to more information on the company’s financial status, please see todayu2019s update to my blog post at: http://vicg8.blogspot.ca/2013/02/may-closure-of-vertis-plant-in-medina.html

  • http://twitter.com/vicg8 Victoria Gaitskell

    Here’s a summary of yesterday’s Ontario court proceedings between the unionnrepresenting closed-Vertis-plant workers and Quad/Graphics http://vicg8.blogspot.ca/2013/03/union-representing-closed-vertis-plant.html

  • Rooster1966

    Victoria here is another link that might be helpful to inform your readers.nhttp://www.bulletnewsniagara.ca/2013/03/07/labour-company-takes-picketing-vertis-employees-to-court-seeking-to-end-plant-gate-blockade/nWe also talked to our Member of Parliment Rob Nicholson and it seems that we my be getting some of the wage earners protection that the governerment offers. We also found out that the filed for bankruptcy in Canada on Thursday and supposidly backdated in to October.nI will try to keep you informed when I get news myself.

  • Rooster1966

    Victoria;nJust to keep you informed of the injunction, word has it that the judge wanted to see proof that they bought the assets from Vertis so no verdict as of now that I’m aware of. Also hearing that the plant itself made to much profit last year so they can not get away with filing for bankruptcy in Canada. That is speculation as of today.

  • http://twitter.com/vicg8 Victoria Gaitskell

    Thanks again, Rooster. Please continue tonkeep me posted, and here’s the latest from my end: VertisnCommunications files for bankruptcy in Canada, Quad obtains court order againstnprotesting ex-workers after threatening individual lawsuits http://vicg8.blogspot.ca/2013/03/vertis-communications-files-for.html

  • Rooster1966

    Victoria here is a link that may bring a chuckle to your face.nhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-ocwNchVlE

  • roodog

    Vctoria I tried to leave a post on your blog but could not maybe I’m doing something wrong. Could you inform me on how to do this properly? My discus acount is giving me problems, This is my gmail name.

  • http://twitter.com/vicg8 Victoria Gaitskell

    Hmmm, not sure what to suggest, but I sincerely appreciate your interest, roodog. Instead of going through Discus, maybe try going directly to the blog at http://www.vicg8.blogspot.ca.

  • http://twitter.com/vicg8 Victoria Gaitskell

    Rooster, thanks a million for sharing this wonderful ballad with me which I’ll be sure to pass along to my readers.

  • http://twitter.com/vicg8 Victoria Gaitskell

    Vertis set to close Dallas plant on April Foolu2019snDay http://vicg8.blogspot.ca/2013/03/vertis-set-to-close-dallas-plant-on.html

  • http://twitter.com/vicg8 Victoria Gaitskell

    Has someone pulled the video off YouTube? Has it been posted elsewhere?

  • pissed ex employee

    It was worse than that. North brunswick shut down losing 400 employees, I am one of them. Plus the company screwed all of us and we didn’t get our severance pay

  • http://twitter.com/vicg8 Victoria Gaitskell

    Ex-Vertis workers in Fort Erie, Ontario, have ended their picket line but continue to fight for compensation http://vicg8.blogspot.ca/2013/05/ex-vertis-workers-end-fort-erie-picket.html

  • http://twitter.com/vicg8 Victoria Gaitskell

    Ontario NDP to table legislation protecting future workers from Vertis ex-workersu2019 plight http://vicg8.blogspot.ca/2013/05/ontario-ndp-to-table-legislation.html

  • 24 yrs. of stress

    I can back that up,i worked in maint. union lied to everybody and their mother too!