9/18/2013 1:32:00 PM So. Illinois parts plant cutting 200 jobs
FAIRFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois maker of fuel pumps for automobiles has announced plans to lay off some 200 workers as it eliminates two operations and outsources some of that work.
AirTex said the job cuts announced Tuesday would reduce the workforce of the plant in the 5,400-resident Wayne County city of Fairfield by roughly half and be based on seniority, with the most recent hires affected first. The layoffs could begin in weeks and take nine months to complete, the company said.
The job losses involving one of the region’s bigger employers could spell an economic hit for Fairfield, though Mayor Chuck Griswold said other companies in nearby towns appear to be hiring. A Mount Vernon tire maker apparently has expressed willingness to shuttle people from Fairfield to that plant.
The layoffs announcement “is not real good news for the city, and first of all, my concern goes out to these employees and their families,” Griswold told WFIE-TV in Evansville, Ind. But “if we pull together, remain positive, we will figure out a way to get through this.”
Figuring to be among the affected workers, Marie Carlock told WSIL-TV that the layoffs announcement was devastating. She lamented that “there are no jobs around here that you can survive on with benefits in this area without driving an hour and a half.”
“That’s the hardest part,” she said.
AirTex is part of UCI Fram, which is one of North America’s largest auto parts makers.