Pink Slips Go Out to Local Workers

By: Nichole Vrsansky
By: Nichole Vrsansky

The employees at the Samuelson Road facility were told about a year ago that this day was coming. Now they know Dec. 17 will be their last day on the job.

"It's a relief. We were still kind of hoping, but now we know its over," says Charles Gulley, who works at the plant.

Relief: even with a pink slip in hand, it's the reaction many Textron workers had as they left the Samuelson plant Monday.

They've known for a year their jobs making fasteners for the auto industry were on the line, but this formal notification is the closure they've been seeking.

"You just don't know when it's going to happen and now that we know and we've signed our papers, it's a relief. It's done and it's over with," says Textron Worker Brian Patty.

Textron also closed its facility on 18th Avenue back in July, leaving about 250 employees without jobs. Two other plants closed last year. And all told, more than 1,000 people will lose their jobs because of Textron’s closings.

The company is moving operations to Greenville Mississippi. A Textron spokesman says the plan is to consolidate and move closer to clients in the south.

But while employees try to stay positive about the future, factory work has left a bad taste in their mouth.

"I'm working on things right now that I don't care to disclose, but I don't want to work in a shop again," adds another Textron worker.

If there is a good thing about these layoffs, it's that employees were given about a year's notice. So many have been saving money and preparing their resumes.

The Textron plant in Belvidere and smaller facility in Rockford near the airport will remain open according to a spokesperson.

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