Saturday, Dec 7, 2013
Huge Layoffs at Wayne County Factory
WAYNE COUNTY-- Nearly 200 workers at a Fairfield auto parts maker will be out of a job in the coming weeks. AirTex told employees about the layoffs in a meeting Tuesday.
Airtex is one of the biggest employers in the area and it has been in
Fairfield for more than 70 years. A company spokesperson says they will be eliminating two operations at the Fairfield plant and out-sourcing some of that work.
Employees learned the cuts will be based on seniority, with the most
recent hires out the door first. Some of those impacted have put in as many as ten years with the company.
"Honestly, I was devastated for my own family and all the people I work
with," Marie Carlock said, "And also this town relies a lot on the money
that comes through."
The mother of nine relies on her paycheck and is almost certain she'll be one of the people out of work.
Carlock said the first round of layoffs will begin the second week of October. 130 union and 60 company jobs are on the chopping block. That will cut Airtex's union workforce by more than half.
Openings for specialized workers can be few and far between in the area.
"That's the hardest part. There are no jobs around here that you can
survive on with benefits in this area without driving an hour and a half,"
It's a problem Fairfield Mayor Chuck Griswold is working to address.
"We know it will be difficult for them. We'll do everything we can to assist them in finding new jobs. I'm going to be calling area companies and mayors," he explained.
Griswold is in close contact with Airtex and doesn't believe the company is going under. He says Fairfield will work to keep the plant in the area and rebuild employment.
Still the news is a major blow to the Wayne County economy and these workers.
Employees said they were told Airtex will offer severance packages that include three months of medical benefits. A company spokesperson would not elaborate on that.
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