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AGC Flat Glass: More Layoffs On The Way In The Tri

Post Time:Jan 06,2009Classify:Company NewsView:1226

Starting Monday AGC Flat Glass will lay off nearly three dozen people at its Greenland plant in Hawkins County.

A company spokesperson hopes the cuts made over the year will be enough to ride out the sluggish times.

"In April, it was a disaster," said Joe Broadwater, president, UAW Local 456, Church Hill.

Last spring, AGC Flat Glass North America eliminated 300 positions at its two locations in the Tri-Cities area, the result of shutting down one of its production lines.

"I found out Wednesday that we're going to have to lay off some more people," said Broadwater.

This month, another 34 people from the Greenland plant will stay home.  AGC spokesman Christopher Correnti says half complete the original lay offs last spring.

"These are folks who ended up working longer than anticipated which is certainly good," said Correnti.

AGC manufactures glass for automobiles, homes, businesses, and other specialty items.  Correnti says the additional layoffs aren't unusual for their winter business cycle.

"Half of them are just result of slow down in business," said Correnti.

But the additional layoffs leaves Broadwater is fighting falling morale.

"I'm doing my best to keep them upbeat and keep hoping," said Broadwater.

Although this time, it may not seem as bad as last time.  Broadwater says the impact is still shattering.

"Those 27's got two kids or they have a wife that don't work or they take care of their grandparents," said Broadwater.

As for the future, it's not as clear as AGC's product.

"I don't know what's going to happen after this one," said Broadwater.

"We would certainly hope we would not have to lay off more people going into 2009," said Correnti.

Broadwater says he's an optimist.

"If we can just make it through spring and get through this downturn in the economy, the housing has a lot to do with our business," said Broadwater.

And Correnti hopes the stimulus plan now being bantered about in Washington will mean an upturn in construction and the need for AGC glass.

The company is still considering consolidating production from another plant to Hawkins County.  They believe demand for their solar glass will be high this summer.

Source: tricities.comAuthor: shangyi

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