Different Labor Day Picnic For Goodyear Workers - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/3/2007-Smith Co.

Different Labor Day Picnic For Goodyear Workers

Hundreds gathered Monday for a labor day picnic hosted by the Smith County Labor Council. 

Workers and their families came out to enjoy the festivities. Children played in a bounce house and everyone ate barbeque, and visited with one another. Sixteen local unions came including workers from Carrier, Trane, retired railroad workers and Goodyear.

You'll remember this past January, Goodyear announced they plan to close the Tyler plant, and if the Goodyear plant closes at the end of the year as it is scheduled many will be without a job.

Some of those workers we spoke to said they will take their retirement money and be just fine.

"We are going to be shut down pretty soon. Don't know exactly when," said Ronnie Smilie, who worked at the plant for 38 years, "The older hands going to come out pretty good . But the younger guys are kind of worried about looking for another job."

Ronnie said he will retire when the plant closes. But for other younger workers, the closing of the plant will mean getting a new job. Back in July about 150 workers took part in a buy-out but about 900 are still working at the plant. Tim McCauley is one of the younger workers who has been working there since high school.

"I'm a cure tire inspector. Way things are going out there doesn't look like they are doing anything as far as shutting the doors," said Tim, "We are running more tires now than we ever did before."

Tim says they are making more than 8500 tires per shift, a workload so heavy, that he has been working on Saturdays.

"We are definitely working hard to keep this place open. So if they decide to shut it or whatever it is just a scar on them. We are doing our part they are not doing there. Hopefully we will still be here this time next year," said McCauley.

For now both Ronnie and Tim say they will work tomorrow as if next year doesn't matter.

"I may not have a job. But I am counting on that I will have a job," said Tim,"You got to believe. We believe in the company and the union."

"We just take it one day at a time," said Ronnie.

We asked Senator Eltife at the picnic Monday about closing plans for Goodyear. He said there is hope that they may keep some of the jobs here and part of the plant open. However nothing is for sure just yet.

Danielle Capper, Reporting dcapper@kltv.com


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