Skip to comments.Goodyear's Union City, Tenn., plant to close, eliminating 1,900 jobs
Posted on 02/13/2011 1:00:55 PM PST by DeaconBenjamin
Goodyear's plant manager placed its bad-news call to City Hall at 7:58 a.m. Thursday: The Union City plant where 1,900 employees make radial tires will close by year's end.
"We were just all surprised, I guess," City Clerk Carolyn Moran said, adding most everyone in this border town of 10,200 knows someone who works at the plant four miles north of City Hall.
Union City sits at the Kentucky line, 115 miles northeast of Memphis. The area unemployment rate is 9.9 percent.
Goodyear's fourth-quarter earnings report, released Thursday, disclosed the Akron, Ohio-based company will take a one-time $160 million charge related to the plant closing.
Goodyear Chairman and CEO Richard Kramer said in the release: "While we are committed to manufacturing in North America, all of our plants must be cost-competitive and be able to demonstrate sustainable, world-class productivity."
"That is not the case with this plant, and as a result, the market has moved beyond what the factory is able to build."
The news confirmed the fears of many in the region.
"I guess it's a surprise that it happened as soon as it happened, but we all had known because of its unprotected status that something like this could happen," Mayor Terry Hailey said.
He referred to the last contract agreement between Goodyear and the United Steelworkers, which didn't protect the plant from shutting down.
"Obviously, it's a severe blow to the community," said Hailey, a local radio station manager who's been part-time mayor the past 22 years.
The effects of the closing will radiate beyond Union City and Obion County; workers commuted from the entire region, Hailey said.
In Nashville, state Rep. Bill Sanderson of nearby Kenton rose on the House floor to express his disappointment, pointing out that the closing imperiled not only jobs at the factory, but also at businesses that depended on Goodyear's operations. "Hundreds of millions of dollars" would be lost in the region because of the closing, the Republican said.
Gov. Bill Haslam said the Goodyear closure is a "huge hit" for an area already plagued by high unemployment.
"I don't know yet what we can do but I can promise you we're going to focus a lot of attention there," Haslam said after a luncheon speech Thursday.
"We obviously haven't had time to put a strategy in place there but we understand how serious that is for the area and we will work hard at trying to alleviate that," the governor said.
A United Steelworkers Local 878L official declined to comment until all its members had been informed of Goodyear's announcement.
But the local posted a message on its website Thursday:
"This morning Plant Management called the Union Negotiating Committee to the plant and announced intentions for plant shutdown. "They will be announcing this to the members today. Plans are to run at the current production levels until towards the end of the year. There are no plans for a ramp down in production levels."
The plant opened in 1968, Hailey said.
Union City still has other substantial employers, including a Kohler plumbing fixtures plant, Tyson Foods, a Lennox Hearth Products plant, and Williams Sausages.
"Hopefully, we can attract somebody else as soon as we can," Hailey said. "We certainly will have an available workforce.
Thanks to Obama more jobs lost. My bet these tires will soon be made in China.
I’m guessing that Goodyear has the same problems I saw at GM.
The added costs and lower productivity of a unionized workforce is a very tough factor to overcome when facing a wide assortment of competitors without that problem.
Now they can name it Non-Union City
But, is it the change you thought you voted for??
1900 families devastated. it’s not easy to get a new job these days.
“Hang in there!”
More shovel-ready jobs for Obama. Shovel-ready...as in “dead and ready for burial”. The WH can rejoice because that’s more Americans who need unemployment benefits driving us closer to the tipping point where communism becomes mandatory to feed and house the people who will never find productive work again.
There was a day when one of the union provided benefits was their own unemployment system to keep families like this going until they could get another job: one of those things that unions did when they were meaningful and not a political arm for the Dims.
It is sad news for Union City, Hickman,Ky Fulton,Ky Martin, Tn and the entire region. 1,900 jobs lost will decimate the area. About 10 percent of the population works there. However, it can’t be blamed on Obama. The plant is old and outdated. It is pure economics. Already a very poor region, except for agriculture, this will be an enormous shock to many more people than the 1,900 who will be losing their jobs.
Goodyear has been doing this for years...slowly moving plants abroad (its not like the raw materials come from here anyway). We have a local plant...around a year ago, Goodyear hired a man from Mexico to work at the plant/observe the operation...uper management. Seems like our plant’s days are numbered.
The Baraqqi regime has added 17 million to the food stamp rolls in 2 years.
I’ve not investigated the stats, but this has to be an unprecedented number.
Congress and the WH needs to start providing incentives to add jobs in America. There’s no way we can compete with $2 an hour but...
“He referred to the last contract agreement between Goodyear and the United Steelworkers, which didn’t protect the plant from shutting down. “
Another SUCCESS STORY for organized labor. They taught THE MAN a lesson here.
In 2009, President Barack Obama signed off on higher tire tariffs. http://www.google.com/search?q=Obama+tire+tariffs&hl=en&tbo=1&num=10&lr=&ft=i&cr=&safe=off&tbs=
And those 1,900 lost jobs will trigger plenty of additional lost jobs in that area.
Is there a pay & benefit schedule at which Goodyear would have stayed? What kind of money are these workers earning? We know how much they’ll be earning after the plant closes.
What Congress and the White House SHOULD do is to stop creating DISINCENTIVES to the creation of jobs in the United States. Every stupid government program, every new regulation of everything, every legal challenge to anything, every “employee rights” statement, not only gives prospective employers a reason to “Not be an employer”, it virtually tells them that is is stupid to grow your business here.
Government at any level does NOT create jobs in the private sector. Government can ONLY create the climate that will encourage the growth of employment. They are doing just the opposite.
“The added costs and lower productivity of a unionized workforce is a very tough factor to overcome when facing a wide assortment of competitors without that problem.”
That’s it in a nutshell.
[Hint: Don't count on it; you're all dead meat on the table.]
I have never been any fan of Obama...nor of his Marxist agenda. There are good people in the Union City area of Tennessee.....and some who are greedy and some who are ignorant. Hopefully, the greedy and the ignorant will learn something from this. Unfortunately, the good people will have to deal with it as well.
Tire prices for my truck have increased more than $50 over the past year. This is in a down economy?
I should have included that I hope many will learn that UNIONS as we know them are past their time. They are fonts of corruption and greed.
Yes, this is the Unions fault. Ya Know, you guys are a joke. These jobs are going overseas because these corporations care more about making a buck, than they do about being American products. How the hell, do you expect an American worker to compete against a Mexican, Chinese or Malaysian worker who makes 50 dollars a freakin month, and lives in company housing. Im getting tired of the union bashing around here. Everytime a unionized company leaves an area, the Union is to blame. How about the millions of non union jobs who outsource to third world countries every year? These companies are looking for the cheapest labor they can find, and why pay a worker in the USA 12 bucks an hour when you can pay some slave over in China or down in South America 10 bucks a day.
All I can tell you is that having worked in unionized plants for 40+ years, I really believe the union is a large factor in increasing costs and reducing productivity.
The sad part was was that most of the workers were brainwashed and truly believed they worked for the UAW, not the company. They saw no connection between the economic success of the company and their own compensation.
I was in a closed-shop union job for 11 years. I’ve seen the games that are played. I’ve seen the grievances over NOTHING. I’ve seen lazy bums get protected by the union while those of us with even a small amount of work ethic are told by the union to slow down and quit working so hard. I’ve seen a portion of my pay STOLEN by the union thugs to support causes in which I did not believe. I’ve been down that road - the unions are a huge problem in this country.
It is the union’s fault in a large part. It is the government’s fault in part. It is NOT the corporation’s fault - they’re just trying to stay in business while the antagonists (union and government primarily) do everything that they can to stop them.
Not very well factually educated in American labor rates, are you? Since the Revolution, American labor was the comparitivly highest paid in the world. That is why unskilled and skilled labor flooded here. And, yet while having high labor, high local costs of building new plant, equipment, cities, transportation, we became a export super power.
Why? Business. Money. Anyone could do business, invest, make money, quicker, faster then anyplace in the world. This quick return of money, profits more than covered high labor rates. This ease and speed is now in China.
So, be ignorant, blame investors who add up socialist costs, socialist taxes, rules regulations permits fees and decide to take their money elsewhere. Money goes to where it is loved and wanted.
When was that? Medieval times? Weren't they called guilds back then? Oh wait. Guilds were for people with skills. Never mind.
When everyone here in America is out of work and the middleclass is reduced to the poverty level, who’s gonna buy thier corporate crap? They are who they are and who they became because of us, when there is no us there is no them! Cut your nose off inspite of your face
“They saw no connection between the economic success of the company and their own compensation.”
That is a great summary of what American unions have become. It could not be stated more clearly.
“These companies are looking for the cheapest labor they can find, and why pay a worker in the USA 12 bucks an hour when you can pay some slave over in China or down in South America 10 bucks a day.”
There is only one way to overcome this disparity between US and third-world wages - productivity. Unions are deliberately set up to impede the flexibility and adaptability required to increase productivity. They will not change their model, and we all will suffer the consequences.
If you impede one man’s freedom to hire and another man’s freedom to work wherever he can, every American is hurt.
Nobody wishes to hold those denying America our universal, God-given freedom accountable - yet.
“They saw no connection between the economic success of the company and their own compensation.”
Which is also why unions flourish in government. There is no connection between hard work, compensation, and economic success.
DING! DING! DING!..... WE HAVE A WINNAH!!!!!.....
That's what corporations are for, to make money for the investors. Corporate boards are answerable to the shareholders. It is their company. Corporations are not social engineering experiments. They exist solely for the purpose of making money, and always have..
Looks like our Free Trade Communist friends have won another for Communist China.
If we get any more of nobama’s “recovery summer” there could be problems. Hate yourself...vote DIMocRAT!
“Hopefully, we can attract somebody else as soon as we can,” Hailey said. “We certainly will have an available workforce.
Maybe Zero can fill it with a subsidized solar or windmill plant.
You buy tire Walmart, stupid yankee...While waiting for tire, you get some China yum yum....you belly fat, you go now yankee.
My cousin worked there, but is long since retired. Just in time, I guess.
You seem to be a business illiterate, likely a liberal or perhaps closet progressive. Busiesses are founded to make money and do not exist to provide jobs.
Unions have degenerated into corrupt political entities that collect dues to promote a political agenda. They are a shield for those lacking the courage to take risks.
Harping on American products is sort of a joke. American love foreign made goods and by an overwhelming margin prefer them to expensive American manufactured products.
Congress and all presidents following after Reagan have been on the send USA jobs overseas bandwagon. That includes Clinton, Obama, and Da Bush's as well. None of them not a one was looking out for our nation the past 20 years but rather securing the gains for their political friends and donors. Corporations have had their owned people in DC but we've been shorted.
That said unions need to become realistic and workers be content with an honest wage not an unrealistic one companies can no longer meet. Union Members do you need more money? Do like us peasants have done for decades. Either work offered overtime or get a second job.
Corporate lies and free trade bull sh*t, which really mean:
We want people to work like Communist Chinese peasants, who will work hard for 14 cents per day....
I’m glad we are in a recovery. These people will easily find green jobs. Obama told me so.
RIGHT TO WORK must be the law nationwide! It's the first necessary step toward ending the death grip of unions on business and innovation. Unions are job killers.
Of course my stance on right to work may offend those (even a vocal minority here on FR) enraptured by the sainted
Martin Marxist Luther King:
In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as 'right-to-work.' It provides no 'rights' and no 'works.' Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining. We demand this fraud be stopped." — Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King and Jimmy Hoffa -- not a dimes worth of difference -- both were total frauds and shills for union thugocracy.