UNION CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 9, 2011)—The U.S. Department of Labor has authorized a $3.5 million National Emergency Grant to provide re-employment and support services to some 850 workers laid off when Goodyear closed its Union City plant in July 2011.
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workplace Development will administer the grant money to provide job training, job search and relocation allowances, income support and health insurance premium assistance, the Tennessee DOL said in a press release.
About 70 of the workers who will receive assistance come from Hamilton Ryker, a staffing firm that provided tire processors, lab technicians, administrative support and professional personnel to the Union City facility, the state agency said.
The Labor Department approved the Union City workers for Trade Adjustment Assistance in April 2011. A total of 1,983 workers were affected by the plant closure, but federal Trade Adjustment Assistance guidelines allow financial aid to only half the affected workers in any plant closure, said a Tennessee DOL spokesman.
Goodyear announced Feb. 10 it planned to close the Union City facility by the end of 2011. It had been in danger of a shutdown since September 2009, when it became the only union-organized Goodyear plant in the U.S. that was not covered by a non-closure agreement between the company and the United Steelworkers.
Opened in 1968, the Union City plant had a production capacity of 12 million tires annually.