According to a report by the Free Press, an Illinois mop-and-broom manufacturer bought Specialty Filaments Inc., a union brush maker located in Middlebury, VT, earlier this week. Production is expected to resume as soon as Monday, one month after production was halted. The court-approved sale includes a three-year contract with UNITE HERE Local 2524. The union ratified the contract Monday afternoon. The company plans to have 80 percent of the former company’s 175 workers back on the job within a year and has received preliminary approval from the Vermont Economic Progress Council for $758,806 in economic incentives for job creation and investment in new equipment.
Specialty Filaments was owned by Capital Resource Partners, a Boston investment firm. Specialty Filaments filed for bankruptcy earlier this month. The company makes plastic bristles, called filaments, for applications including toothbrushes, industrial brushes and cosmetics brushes.
”So far they’ve seemed very open with us and very cooperative. We’re getting off on the right foot," said Ernie Loring, UNITE HERE New England Joint Board representative.
“There’s no way we could have gotten it running without them,” Monahan said of the union workers. Tom Arsenault, a machine operator and union steward at the plant, was relieved to see the company sold. He said he is pleased to see a company buying the plant instead of an investment group.