Residents Worry Over Steel Plant Layoffs - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Residents Worry Over Steel Plant Layoffs

The news of more layoffs at an East Texas steel plant has sparked concern in the company's small community.  U.S. Steel announced this weekend it will be laying off 200 workers at their Lone Star plant located on Highway 259 north.  People who live and work around Lone Star have seen it happen many times before, layoffs at the local plant.

"I've seen 50 go out there and go to work, and the next day they'll lay off a hundred, but it still didn't matter because that same 50 could go back the day after that," said longtime Lone Star resident Betty Craker.  During the 70's and 80's the plant turned Lone Star into a boom town, employing thousands, but this week U.S. Steel announced the rolling mill and steel making shop will be idled, and around 200 workers out of jobs.

"We're not real sure what the outcome is going to be," said former Lone Star Mayor Nick Nichols.  "We hope it's just temporary."  Just about everybody who lives in Lone Star is connected in some way to Lone Star Steel, whether it's making their living off of it, or a relative who works for them.

"Both my grandfathers worked at Lone Star Steel and my father works there, so it will be a direct hit," said restaurant worker Summer McEntire.  Many like McEntire depend on plant workers spending their money, to earn their living.

"It does concern me some," said Summer.  "A lot of our clientele is Lone Star Steel."  Longtime residents have come to deal with the plants up's and downs.  The town has lived and died by the fortunes of the steel plant, and they believe things will turn around.

"This little town will survive, and the people around it will survive," said Craker.

Around 1,400 workers remain employed at the plant.  No word on how long the layoff will last.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting.


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