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Originally published Monday, November 3, 2008 at 4:50 PM

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James Hardie halting work at 2 US plants

Building materials maker James Hardie NV is suspending production at two plants in the United States because of the collapse of the country's housing market.

SYDNEY, Australia —

Building materials maker James Hardie NV is suspending production at two plants in the United States because of the collapse of the country's housing market.

James Hardie chief executive Louis Gries said in a statement Tuesday to the Australian Securities Exchange that production would be suspended at plants in Fontana, California, and Summerville, South Carolina.

"Although the business continues to run well, current and projected market demand cannot support our current plant network," Gries said in the statement.

The shutdowns will affect 60 workers in Fontana and 67 at Summerville, the company said.

The statement did not give a date for the shutdowns. The company said it plans to reopen both plants when market conditions permit.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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