GADSDEN, AL (WBRC) - The Goodyear tire plant in Gadsden is changing how it schedules its employees and some of those employees may soon be out of a job.
Barbara Hatala, a spokesperson at the company’s headquarters in Akron, Ohio, confirmed Tuesday the plant will return its workers to standard eight hour shifts beginning March 31. Workers received notices of that action Tuesday.
Workers currently work 12 hour shifts. One worker told us they work two 12 hour shifts in one work week with a split shift on Saturday, then the next week work every day except the two days they worked the previous week.
Hatala sent a statement mentioning the likelihood of layoffs, also.
"Goodyear is planning to reduce tire production at its Gadsden, Alabama, manufacturing facility during the second quarter. The company continually adjusts schedules to maximize capacity at all plants, increase operational efficiencies and best serve our customers with the tires they need, when and where they need them. This move is part of that process,' the statement read.
"We don’t know how many or which positions will be impacted. We know layoffs will take place in the second quarter. We will keep our associates informed and share information as soon as we can," it concluded.
WBRC reached out to Mickey Ray Williams, the president of United Steelworkers Local 12, for comment but he does not have one at this time.
Company officials actually announced the plant would close in 1997, but then changed their minds and kept it open in the midst of the Ford Explorer/Firestone Tire debacle, when Goodyear started supplying OEM tires to Ford after they canceled their contract with Firestone. The plant also supplies tires for the Ford F-150 pickup.
Goodyear has supplied OEM tires to Chrysler as well. The plant opened in 1929 and currently employs 1,500 workers.