Goodyear Employees are saying the reality check is here. They learned Tuesday the company issued union officials a WARN Act. Essentially it gives them 60 days notice that at least one-third of the workforce there will be laid off; and union members say it's probably going to be more like an estimated 600 out of the 700-plus employees laid off.
We spoke with several Goodyear employees at Tyler's Goodyear plant about tire production ending after 45 years.
For the past 21 years, Bud Allred has walked through the doors of Tyler's Goodyear plant, never imagining those same doors would shut for good, but now he says it's become a reality.
"They've been preparing us for a year and telling us consistently that they would shut the plant down; however, you always hope for the best. Being as many years as I have with the company I, just like everyone else, I had continued to hope for the best," Bud says.
With the 60 days layoff notice in writing, Bud says it's final and now the end to a year's wait not knowing what would happen.
"I think that now that we know it's going to happen, just not knowing was probably worse, I think now I can go on with my life, I'm not held in limbo like we have been for a year. That's a terrible place to be," Bud explains.
But it's still an uncertain future for Bud and his family as he looks for another job.
"My main concern is for my kids. This is such a good job and the ability to make an income to get them through college," he says.
It was a hope Goodyear employees shared with the East Texas community too.
"I think it's awful, there's going to be a lot of people especially close to Christmas, without jobs, families, it's going to hurt a lot of people," says Kelly Perry, a Tyler resident.
"A lot of people worked a long time there so if they can hang in there and you know keep all their benefits and their retirement I mean it was a reason to hang on in case it worked out," says Michael Taylor, a Hawkins resident.
"That's a terrible thing, it's definitely going to impact the economy," says Tyler resident Raymond Elder.
It was a Hail Mary that didn't make it, but everyone is just trying to stay positive.
"I'm going to work somewhere and do something," Bud says.
But for Bud, he says, it's just hard to imagine it will no longer be with company he devoted two decades of his life to.
Goodyear headquarters says it's not planning to shut down the entire plant, just stop tire production. That means that around 150 employees will not be laid off and will continue some production, such as rubber mixing.
Tracy Walter, Reporting