GADSDEN, Ala. (WBRC) - More bad economic news from the Goodyear tire plant in Gadsden.
Some 105 workers at the company's East Gadsden plant were informed Friday they were being let go.
“They keep chipping at us a little bit at a time,” says Mickey Ray Williams, president of United Steelworkers Local 12, which represents the workers. Williams says they originally planned to lay off 124, but he was able to negotiate it down to 105.
We told you last week about a company memo requesting "voluntary layoffs."
This follows some 740 workers who received early retirement packages from Goodyear just before Christmas.
"The Goodyear-Gadsden plant is rightsizing staffing levels to accommodate an adjusted production schedule, following recent voluntary buyouts for union associates," Barbara Hatala, a spokesperson from Goodyear's corporate headquarters, told us last week.
“Goodyear continues to decimate the ticket in Gadsden, Alabama. That’s killing the morale in the plant and everywhere else, not knowing the future. All at the same time, they’re pumping tires in from the Mexican-border, from Mexico to the U.S.,” Local 12 president Williams said.
“That doesn’t hurt Gadsden, it hurts the surrounding community,” Williams adds.
There are now 411 workers left at the Gadsden plant. What was once the world's largest tire factory now employs less than the Etowah County Board of Education, both of Gadsden's hospitals, Koch Foods, and even both of Etowah County's Walmart stores combined.
Williams says the plant, and 393 of its workers, are protected until 2022.
“There’s no reason they can’t send us a bigger ticket (tire order) right now,” he says. “Anything can happen.”