Tyler Pipe announces layoffs; Tyler economic leaders react - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

TYLER (KLTV)

Tyler Pipe announces layoffs; Tyler economic leaders react

Big layoffs have been announced for one of the East Texas biggest employers. This afternoon, officials at Tyler Pipe announced they are closing their South Plant in December, and cutting 185 jobs. Officials say the economic downturn combined with the slowdown in the housing market led to this decision.

Vice President and General Manager Richard Tatman, in a statement released to the press today, said that whether production in the South Plant will restart after 2009 will depend upon the recovery of both the fittings market and the overall economy, as well the global economy.

"We very much regret that this action has become necessary, and we have explored all feasible options to avoid job reductions in Tyler," said Tatman. "These are dedicated employees that have allowed us to deliver quality products manufactured in a safe and environmentally compliant facility. The announcement today should not detract from their excellent contributions to the plant and our company. It is simply the result of eroding market demand tied to the decline in national housing starts."

The North Plant and Wade operation won't be affected by this announcement.

Tyler economic leaders say the hard times could eventually turn around.

"The other part of the plant is doing well, and there's an outside chance that if the industry turns, if the economy turns sometime next year, they can bring some more jobs back here. But right now, there's no demand and there's no assurance that will ever happen," said Tom Mullins with the Tyler Economic Development Council.

The South Plant will officially shut down on December 17th.

Tyler Pipe did say they will offer job placement support to laid-off workers.

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