POSTED: Thursday, October 16, 2008 - 7:00pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 12:40am
TYLER - Almost 200 workers at Tyler Pipe were told Thursday they wouldn't have a job by Christmas time. The entire staff at the south plant in will be out of jobs. Workers there say the thought of starting over is unimaginable.
"I just got laid off at Goodyear last year," says Coletta Butler.
It's like deja-vu for Butler as she finds out at least 185 of her co-workers are being laid off. The single mom says she was laid off when the auto industry starting seeing a slow down.
Butler says, "it takes a toll, because I'm the provider of the family." Now, with a spiraling housing market, it brings back the same feelings of one year ago. "Shocking, hurtful, I don't know. I can't even explain," she says.
Plant officials say because they make fittings used in mostly new water utilities, their work slows down along with housing.
General Manager Richard Tatum said in a statement that they face a "an eroding market demand tied to the decline in the national housing market."
Those who've been with the company for nine years say they saw it coming.
"Times got slow. Things started slowing down. so we'll see what happens," said one worker.
Some say they're surprised senior employees were being let go.
The manufacturing plant has decades of roots in the community, so it's no surpris that this isn't the first time it's happened here. About 200 employees were laid off in 2006 and 2005. Back in 2003, the north plant was closed temporarily, laying off 500.
As workers head home to their families, they say they're on edge about what may come next.
"Everything happens for a reason," Butler says.
There is a chance the south plant at Tyler Pipe could re-open after 2009, according to the company. However, they say it depends on the state of the overall economy at the time.