Union Steelworkers Look For Work - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/12/06-Tyler

Union Steelworkers Look For Work

Since the strike began last Thursday, no new negotiations have happened between Union Steelworkers and Goodyear on whether or not the Tyler plant will remain open.   Not knowing how long the strike will last or its outcome. Workers say they have to be prepared for anything.

A week into the strike, anxiety rises as union steelworkers fear they may not have a job when the strike ends.

"You've got a lot of young people that's never been in this spot before, so they don't know what to expect," said Union Steelworker Frank Leeson. "They know they don't have a paycheck coming and they are trying to take care of their family. Frank Leeson has worked for Goodyear 38 years. He says he's been in a similar situation before, and doesn't want to be caught off guard.

"I've got to make a living for my family and everybody else does to, so I'm here today to find me a job," said Leeson, "I'm not going to find probably the same thing I've got now." The East Texas Workforce Center says manufacturing jobs are available in East Texas, but are limited and do not offer the same wages Goodyear does.

"A person has to accept that the type of work they have done in the past may not be available, and then accept what can I do," said Steve Lynch, Site Manager for East Texas Workforce Center. One option is making a career change.

"They may consider going back and getting into one of those critical demand areas, and get some training," said Lynch. "Then they can go back and have the opportunity to increase." Leeson says for now, his fellow union workers are trying to stay strong and hope for the best.

"I hate to see us get into this situation, but here we are, and we just all got to hold together," said Leeson. The East Texas Workforce Center in Tyler is open Monday through Friday, and the services provided are free. It says if the Goodyear plant closes, it will do what it can to find people jobs.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

 

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