POSTED: Friday, January 20, 2012 - 6:37pm
UPDATED: Saturday, January 21, 2012 - 6:38pm
TYLER — For years now, Carrier has gone back and forth about layoffs and possible closures.
But it was Friday morning, that KETK first learned---- the company announced to its employees---- a proposal to close their Tyler plant.
It's one of four Carrier plants in the U.S.
And the only one that could shut down.
Carrier spokesperson Michelle Caldwell tells KETK, "the proposed closure would mean production would move to carrier plant in Monterrey, Mexico. It would affect about 500 employees."
Until recently, Carrier was a lead manufacturer in air conditioning and heating units.
But since 2005, new home construction has decreased by 71-percent.
And she says, commercial development has gone down by 59-percent.
So, they're taking steps to remain competitive for customers.
Caldwell tells KETK, the closure is pending a collective bargaining agreement with the union.
At this time, they say, the plant will continue operations through at least 2013.
But if the plant does in fact close---- that's a huge hit for the Tyler community.
Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass tells KETK, although they don't know yet how much of an impact it will have, they will be prepared.
She says, "we'll be working together as a community in trying to do our part to create jobs. So, as many of those people who want to stay here, they can stay here."
Carrier Corporation has been employing East Texans since 1946.
At one point--- it employed 1250 people.
Collective bargaining can take anywhere from weeks to months.
And until that's over, officials tell KETK, it's business as usual.