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The slumping commercial real estate market is causing headaches for PPG Industries Inc., which has responded with personnel cuts at its architectural glass plant in Ford City.
PPG's reduction in manpower is viewed by industry analysts as an attempt by the company to cut costs at a time when the glass industry is flat and showing no signs of a rapid recovery.
"The market for glass is very soft and continues to be very soft," said Robert Curran, an analyst with Merrill Lynch in New York.
Possible layoffs at the plant, Curran said, is a reflection of the softness in the commercial real estate market. Similar softness in the auto industry, he said, is costing PPG business in the auto windshield glass segment as well. The two areas, he said, make up "key end markets" for the Pittsburgh-based manufacturer.
Glass accounts for about 40 percent of PPG's annual sales.
Under the terms of the federal Worker …