[Masthead] Fair ~ 52°F  
High: 60°F ~ Low: 40°F
Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014

Goodyear Union City plant closes its doors

Monday, July 11, 2011

(Photo)
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company has ceased production at its Union City facility.

Workers were notified that the global tire manufacturer had moved up its timetable to shut the doors of the Union City plant at the beginning of their shifts, according to Goodyear Union City Communications Manager Clint Smith.

The company announced its intentions to close the Union City plant in February, informing the 1,900 employees at the time that the facility would be shut down by the end of the year.

"When (Goodyear) made the announcement, (they said we would close) by the end of the year. They did not give a specific date," said Smith, who said a variety of factors allowed the company to shut its doors just five months to the day after the initial announcement.

Smith said those factors included customer requirements and the ability of other Goodyear plants to build the tires formerly created in the West Tennessee plant. Goodyear was able to meet the needs of its tire customers without the use of the Union City facility in a shorter amount of time than first anticipated by company officials.

The 1,800 workers still employed at the Union City plant learned of the closing date as they arrived at work at the beginning of their shift. The first group informed were employees arriving to work third shift at 11 p.m., on Sunday, July 10. First shift workers were informed at 7 a.m., on Monday, July 11.

"Employees were told when they reported to work that production had ceased," said Smith. "They were allowed to get any personal items they had and then they left the plant. (The other shifts will be) told as they come into work."

In accordance with the WARN Act, employees affected by the closing will be paid as if they had worked for the next 60 days.

"While Goodyear's move to end production at its facility in Union City was not unexpected, it is a tragic loss for all the hardworking employees and surrounding communities," said Congressman Stephen Fincher, in a press release issued just after the Goodyear announcement. "Our economy has been through trying times and Goodyear's announcement to shutter its plants doors certainly does not ease the pain. I have spent much time meeting with people throughout the community and I am confident that its roots are strong and we will rebuild better than before."


Comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on stategazette.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

guess we can begin to boycott goodyear tires, & that's that.

-- Posted by closerlook on Mon, Jul 11, 2011, at 1:42 PM

That's done to prevent the "accidental slip and fall".. Dont blame Goodyear, Blame the union. Could have easily restructured like Excel and paid those folks $15 to $20 dollars per hour rather that $28 to $35 per hour.. When a tire builder making $30 dollars an hour "stubs" his toe and gets put on light duty for a year pushing a broom, It wont take long for the company to close up shop.. I really hate it for the employees, But big companies dont "stay in the blue" by letting things like that take place. Goodyear done what it had to do to make money. As would any other company!!

-- Posted by time2change on Mon, Jul 11, 2011, at 1:46 PM

Wow, this is terrible.. Union City's going to become a ghost town as people try to find similar work.

-- Posted by CodeyH on Mon, Jul 11, 2011, at 2:19 PM

I got laid off in 03....It was hard to find employment after that....A lot of employers felt that u would not go to work for 10 bucks after making that kind of money... And it was definitely a change...I was able to save because there was always rumors of a shut down... I got a friend who paid off everything she owe when they first made that announcement..

-- Posted by DMASE on Mon, Jul 11, 2011, at 3:55 PM

Tell people you were union and they are not going to want you...simple fact. The real world doesnt function like union shops.

-- Posted by swampfox on Mon, Jul 11, 2011, at 5:37 PM

I completely agree with swampfox. Americans are overpaid and underachieved. Their jobs belong in China and India. The Chinese and Indians are hard workers, and they deserve to have the best jobs. Americans are lazy people who only wants to receive food stamps and 99 weeks of unemployment checks.

Ben Wilson

-- Posted by Ben Wilson on Mon, Jul 11, 2011, at 6:10 PM

B.W., I am so tired of you getting on here, and downing the American people. The majority of Americans are hard working, honest, and giving to a fault. When you say demeaning things, like you just did. It gives people a mental image of a wrinkled, crabby, old man, sitting hunched over a keyboard, mumbling as you type. You shouldn't judge the entire world as if they were your family members. Or judge people on whether they are underachievers by your own work ethics. I don't see how you got all of that, from the two sentences Swampfox wrote. If you are so proud of the Indians and Chinese . . Then move there. You can still collect your SSI check and live like a king. SSI is still partially funded by the government . . same as food stamps. You only contributed part of your pay towards it . . same as food stamps. By the way, I don't collect either.

-- Posted by M-Mom on Tue, Jul 12, 2011, at 12:11 AM

Americans will work as hard as anyone but we won't work for Third World wages. That said, the union at Goodyear simply priced themselves out of a job. You can't pay people these type of wages/benefits and it not catch up with you eventually...

-- Posted by Dude2010 on Tue, Jul 12, 2011, at 1:28 AM

When the Mill closed in Dyersburg those who were laidoff expected to find a job paying the same amount. Reality check....it will not happen that way. The minimum wage is $7.25....the most you can expect to be paid is $9.25. If you are lucky you might get $10.00. Please don't be surprised, just be realistic. You are going to have to trim your spending. We filed Chapter 13 just as the recession was beginning. We have been discharged for almost 3 years now. We have not financed anything since..only re-modified our house payment.

It may not look like much...but we haven't lost it. Please be smart.

-- Posted by ohyeah67 on Tue, Jul 12, 2011, at 3:29 AM

I quit buying Goodyear tires a long time ago. IMO they are overpriced and overated. The Union is to blame for the plant closing.

-- Posted by trimblealumni on Tue, Jul 12, 2011, at 6:16 AM

I despise unions and what they represent and have been in positions of management for the last twenty + years and have had to deal with them more than I care to remember. But often, unions exist because there is a lack of trust between management and the work force. Members of management need to always keep this in mind and keep an open door policy as well as always being honest and forthright with the employees. If your workers trust that you are looking out for their best interest, they will give you their all and then some.

I guarantee you that the majority of the workers at this facility are hard workers and I wish them the best of luck in the future. May God Bless!

To the union leaders, stewards, etc...I hope you leave this job and think real hard about what has happened to those you were suppposed to represent! Are you proud of what you have done?

-- Posted by southernborn1 on Tue, Jul 12, 2011, at 9:32 AM

Oh yeah hit it head on...See you gotta do what u got do to survive...(crime not included), If u don't own ur home, then $7.25 will only get u evicted....These jobs are out for themselves...You do all the work and they make all the money...Then ur little line operators are running around like they own the place.. glad u didn't work all ur life just to lose ur house..... When i got laid off, it was the same.....found out when i got to work...

-- Posted by DMASE on Tue, Jul 12, 2011, at 11:39 AM

If you are wondering about the closure, just go out and look at your car/truck tires and see where they were made.Chances are pretty good they were made in Mexico, China, Japan or such. When you start pointing fingers for the reason, just look in any mirror.

Hate to say it, but I fear this time we are not pulling out of this recession since America has lost its manufacturing base. Only Americans can change it , and I doubt we have the resolve to ignore the siren call of Walmart's low prices. (made in China)

-- Posted by olcoot on Wed, Jul 13, 2011, at 7:42 AM

All I know is this is hurting a lot of families and I just don't know what some are going to do about it. I know we are one of the families.....

-- Posted by mommatt33 on Sat, Jul 16, 2011, at 10:57 AM

Does anyone really know what it took to get that much pay there and how long it took to get it because i read some of this and it just really gets to me... I feel if you don't know don't talk about it because you only make yourself look like an butt when you do ...sorry that is how it is .

-- Posted by mommatt33 on Sat, Jul 16, 2011, at 11:02 AM

Swampfox said it best.

-- Posted by oldbat on Mon, Jul 18, 2011, at 9:45 AM

This plant closure was inevitable. It has been coming for a while. I'm suprised it didn't happen ten years ago. I worked there a long time ago, and I have seen the shoddy product that they put out. That's why I'll never buy Goodyear tires.

I've seen tire builders work thirty minutes on and thirty minutes off. They work a TOTAL of four hours a day and get paid an average of twenty three to twenty five bucks over an eight hour period! That's because "the union let them get by with it!"

If that's not abuse of the system, I don't know what is! It's no wonder Goodyear decided to close that particular facility.

-- Posted by Shi Don Yu on Sun, Jul 31, 2011, at 10:17 AM


Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration. If you already have an account on this site, enter your username and password below. Otherwise, click here to register.

Username:

Password:  (Forgot your password?)

Your comments:
Please be respectful of others and try to stay on topic.