Hahn Elastomer Corp., which supplies plastic parts to auto and appliance makers, reportedly is closing its Plymouth headquarters and two plants in southeast Michigan, putting 273 people out of work.

According to the Detroit Free Press, company officials told workers at the Hahn Elastomer plant in Jackson last week that they were unable to obtain additional financing to keep the shop open – the company’s plant in Warren also is closing.

The firm began terminating workers at the Jackson plant on July 30 and will continue the process until August 31, according to a letter sent to workers, the paper said.

TJ Cottrell of United Auto Workers Local [branch] 62 reportedly said about half the plant’s 104 person work force already is gone.

According to the report, Cottrell told a local newspaper that he suspected something was wrong in recent weeks because of chronic parts shortages. “I said, ‘We’re not getting these parts. What’s going on?’ ” Cottrell said.

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The Free Press noted that larger employers are generally required under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act to give workers 60 days’ notice of closings but the letter to workers said Hahn was unable to give the required notice because it was unclear 60 days before the planned closing date it “would not be able to obtain the necessary capital, and earlier notice would have jeopardized the ability to obtain financing.”

The paper added that Hahn Elastomer, based in Plymouth, acquired much of the business in February 2000 when it acquired Plastigage Corp. and Atrex Inc. for an undisclosed price.

At the time, the operations generated annual sales of $US42 million, but Hahn estimated the combined operations would grow to $48 million to $50 million a year in business. The company claimed the deal would make it the nation’s 10th-largest plastics company of its kind, the Detroit Free Press said.

Hahn has five manufacturing operations with 300,000 square feet of space and makes a variety of tubes, wire harnesses and rubber parts, the paper added.