Employees at Goodyear’s plant in Union City were told Sunday night they would not return to work. The tire manufacturer announced in February its West Tennessee plant would close by the end of the year, but the company says in a statement it was able to transfer production more quickly than expected.
Until today, Goodyear was the largest employer in Union City. Mayor Terry Hailey says he’s not surprised that the end was so abrupt.
“I think we all knew this was coming and it would be done this way, but the reality of the situation is it’s tough. It’s sort of sad, you know.”
Workers will get their full pay for the next 60 days as required by federal rules. Hailey has been putting the best face possible on the situation. He says the town has what it takes to attract other manufacturers, like pre-built industrial parks and four-lane roads going in and out of town.
“And in addition to that, now we have an available workforce. So we think we’re in a strong position to reclaim some of these jobs through some new industry.”
Goodyear workers have 60 days with full pay as required by federal rules. According to a company spokesperson, less than 10 percent of them have taken transfers to other plants.