Goodrich union leaders hope layoffs will be short-lived - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Goodrich union leaders hope layoffs will be short-lived

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BFGoodrich Tuscaloosa Plant (abc3340.com) BFGoodrich Tuscaloosa Plant (abc3340.com)
TUSCALOOSA - AL -

   At least 89 workers at the Tuscaloosa BF Goodrich plant will soon walk out with no guarantee they'll ever return to the plant.  The company made the announcement Monday.  For some of the employees who will be affected, it's a double whammy.  " I think there were enough rumors that they would have been expecting it.  I actually talked with one who worked at the Mercedes Plant and came to our plant," said Steven Tilley. Now, that worker is being laid off again.

   Leaders of the local steel workers union tell ABC 33/40 that 89 employees were notified Tuesday that their jobs will end October 27th.  That's when the layoffs go into effect.  The union is trying to help those affected find other work.  Union leaders are hoping attrition at the plant will allow most of those laid off to be called back.  "You have people that didn't get laid off with seniority are close to retiring and there are several with paperwork already in and call several to fill those spots back. It may take a little while," stated Tilley.

  In a statement released Tuesday, a Goodrich representative says the layoffs are "indefinite."  He also says the adjustment is necessary "to help align production and inventory with current market demand for BF Goodrich passenger and light truck tires.

  Union workers say its similar to the layoffs Goodrich did after Hurricane Katrina seven years ago.  "By the time the 90 days was up, we had recalled all of those and the market was back full swing and it went back full production. ARE YOU CONFIDENT THE SAME THING WILL HAPPEN THIS TIME? I'm sure they will be called back. It may take a little longer because tires aren't selling like they use to and a lot of imports are affecting it."

  We're told the layoffs will not affect any long-time employees of the Tuscaloosa BF Goodrich plant.  Those who will be laid off were all hired within the last three years.

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