U.S. Pipe and Foundry plans to close the Griffin Pipe Products Co. plant in Council Bluffs, IA, in early May, according to local reports. U.S. Pipe acquired a majority stake in Griffin Pipe earlier this year. Both companies serve the market for ductile iron pipe products, mainly for drinking water transmission and distribution.
At that time, U.S. Pipe CEO Paul Ciolino stated: “This combination will improve our respective cost position and enable us to compete more efficiently, especially against competitive offerings such as plastic and steel pipe.” Ciolino had been the president of Griffin Pipe before joining U.S. Pipe in 2010.
Local news reports indicate the new owner began laying off workers soon after the acquisition.
The reason for the closing remains obscure. Elected officials in the Iowa city have stated that the new owner cited multiple factors in its decision, but there is no official statement.
About 250 workers reportedly will be affected by the closing.
Griffin Pipe produces ductile iron pipes from 3 to 48 in. diameter; accessory products, like MJ glands, gland packs, bronze wedges for conductivity, polyethylene encasement, etc.; numerous joints and fittings; and a line of specialty gaskets, outlets, and welded outlets, etc.