Kelly-Springfield Employees Rally To Save Jobs

The employees and retirees of Kelly-Springfield joined with other members of the East Texas community to rally Saturday to show support.

"I know what Goodyear and Kelly-Springfield have meant to this area over the last forty years," retiree Fred Grant says. "It would be devastating to us if something happens to this plant."

Grant has been retired from Kelly-Springfield for two and a half years. He was one of many who came back today to try and save their plant.

"It hurts, big time," Grant says. "It hurts financially, and it hurts you mentally to see a company that you worked so hard to try to help."

While speakers rallied the crowd, and talked about the economic impact of possibly losing thirteen hundred jobs, the people of Kelly-Springfield know the cuts could affect all of them. The Tyler economic development council, which is also involved with convincing the plant to stay in Tyler, estimates the Kelly-Springfield facility is worth nine-hundred-and-forty-eight million dollars annually to the local economy.

"This is first and foremost on my mind, plus I understand that retirees, our benefits and hospitalization and retirement mean a lot to us in these retirement years."

For the people of East Texas, it's hard to see the company and think of the jobs that may be travelling overseas.

"To see us just stand by and not do anything about it," Grant says, "It angers me, yes it does."

So today, they stood together in support, and hope that their company stays at home.

Reid Kerr ( reporting.