(Jan. 13) CHICAGO — In an effort to cut costs, Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. is closing four plants in Indiana, California, Texas and Kentucky.

The largest is a corrugated container plant in Anderson, Ind., where 143 jobs will be cut. Another corrugated container plant in San Jose, Calif., is also being shut down. The remaining two are sheet plants in Temple, Texas, and Louisville, Ky.

A total of 314 jobs will be lost as a result of the closing. Smurfit-Stone employs about 37,500.

This is not the first time in recent years the company has been forced to make cutbacks. In 2003, the company closed plants in Spartanburg, S.C., Milwaukee, and Fort Smith, Ark.

Jim Davis, vice president and general manager of the company’s corrugated container division, said in a news release that the plants had to be closed because of current market conditions.

The company said it plans to shift all existing business from those facilities to nearby facilities. The plants are expected to be closed in the first quarter of 2004.