The The Danville Register & Bee just broke this story about Goodyear laying off some 5,000 employees company wide. From a business perpective, after seeing sales plummet 21% in the 4th quarter this is probably a smart move. It does nothing for the hard working men and women who will now find themselves filing for unemployment.
I would expect this will mean approximately 400 more Southside area workers to become unemployed shortly. That figure is based on limited knowledge and recent dealings with United Steel Workers employed by Goodyear.
Under current constraints, will the victims of the layoffs be entitled to retraining? Probably not, unless the union has or is able to work out some sort of deal with Goodyear. Hopefully there will be some way for these soon to be former employees to keep some semblence of health care insurance.
How our legislators (state and Federal) will react is yet to be determined. I'm going to be talking with Congressman Tom Perriello tonight about it. I will be interested to hear how Delegates Danny Marshall and Don Merricks respond.
UPDATE 12:10 p.m.: Goodyear spokesman Keith Price verified Wednesday the company?s proposed job cuts could impact 400 hourly workers at its plant in Danville.