Huntsville, Ala.-based Wolverine Tube Inc. said it will discontinue its U.S. plumbing tube business and close two production facilities - Decatur, Ala., and Booneville, Miss. - due to a decline in demand for copper plumbing, leading to job cuts.

Demand for copper plumbing tube has declined over the last several years as plastic tubes have emerged as a cheaper substitute in residential construction, the company said.

The company said it will cut about 40 percent of its corporate, general and administrative positions, totaling about 40 employees. The Decatur and Booneville facilities, which have 440 full-time and 50 temporary employees, primarily served the U.S. copper plumbing tube and smooth industrial tube markets.

Wolverine Tube is unrelated to South Carolina-based Wolverine Brass Co., which has manufactured faucets and other plumbing products for more than 100 years.