Local News

Hundreds of Workers Face Layoffs At Rocky Mount Plant

Posted October 18, 2000

— Decades of hard work and long hours will soon grind to a halt.Cooper Tire & Rubber Companywill soon be closing its doors -- leaving 380 people without a job.

Workers found out Thursday that the plant in Rocky Mount would soon be closing.

"We all expected something like this to take place in the near future, but we didn't know it was going to be so soon," says plant worker Andre Avent.

"We were not working as much and getting as many hours, so I kind of had an idea that the plant would shut down," says plant worker Iris McCowan.

Terry Brosi, the plant manager, says the decision to shut down the plant came down to money.

"We always have pressure from the automotive company to reduce costs, and one of the ways to do that is to consolidate and make bigger plants," he says.

News of the shutdown is tough to swallow. The average employee has worked 15 years at the plant, making rubber seals that line car trunks.

"Anytime you have kids to take care of and bills to pay, it becomes hard, but life goes on," says plant worker Darnell Lassiter.

Starting next week, out-placement counselors will meet one-on-one with employees to discuss their career decisions. The two Cooper Tire & Rubber facilities in Goldsboro will not be affected by the layoffs.

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