UPDATE NOVEMBER 30 : 11PM
UPDATE DECEMBER 1 : 5pm
BY CNBNEWS STAFF
(cnbnews.net)VOORHEES NJ-AFL Web Printing notified their customers on Thursday, November 29, 2012, that they will be closing their doors within the next few days leaving publishers of area newspapers scurrying about trying to find another printer for their publications. The company has printing plants in Voorhees and Secaucus. The closing will effect approximately 100 employees some of who have been with the company since it was founded in 1974.
According to their website,
"AFL is a leading provider of web printing, finishing, and circulation services for the publishers of daily, weekly, and monthly newspapers. From plants in Voorhees and Secaucus, New Jersey, we serve customers throughout the North-East and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States ... and beyond."
Some of the publications it printed included: The Gloucester City News, The Gloucester County Times, The South Jersey News, The Jewish Weekly, The Voice, The Daily Record and The Guide to Queens. There are many other publications that will be hurt by this sudden closing. The Gloucester City News had been with AFL for 38 years.
The company had previously announced layoffs in its Voorhees and Secaucus plants. The private equity-owned company said the layoffs came after it lost two contracts valued at $10 million annually, according to northjersey.com.
Patrick LoPresti, president of Local 1-L of the Amalgamated Lithographers of America, which represents some of the workers, said he heard that AFL had lost the contract to print copies of Metro, a free newspaper handed to commuters in New York and Philadelphia.
The union has for three years sought to organize the company's workers, and has been trying to negotiate a contract with the company since workers voted to unionize in August 2010.
The closure will not disrupt service to Gloucester City News customers, said publisher and editor Albert Countryman. He said the newspaper will be published elsewhere.
“I received a call Friday morning that AFL was closing, effective Wednesday, December 5. After frantically calling around for another printer, I found one and the Gloucester City News will be printed as usual. It was one of the most stressful days ever as publisher.
“I feel bad for all the employees who lost their job. Many of them were with the AFL when it started in Camden, and when it was based on Jersey Avenue in Gloucester City.
“On a positive note, the Gloucester City News will now be printed using the most up-to-date technology. The waxer in the back room here will be going to a museum, said Countryman.”
Earlier today CNBNews reached out to Antoinette Franceschini, president and CEO of the company, who was appointed in 2010, for a statement. We are still waiting for her response.
There is no announcement on the company's website about the closing.
AFL was established in 1974 by Greg Forchic and his brother Dennis Forchic. It was located in Camden City for 10 years and in Gloucester City for 11 years before moving to Voorhees in 1997. Greg Forchic sold his interest in the business in 2007.