Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bridgestone Firestone to cut another 600 jobs in LaVergne

WKRN Channel 2 Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, Inc. announced Thursday it will cease passenger and light truck tire manufacturing at its plant in LaVergne, resulting in the loss of hundreds of jobs. In December, the LaVergne plant laid-off 148 hourly and 10 salaried employees due to a decrease in demand for passenger and light truck tires. The company said Thursday an additional 294 hourly, 31 maintenance and 60 salaried workers will be released beginning in mid-March when the company ceases production. "Based on current economic forecasts, it appears that the global economic crisis is going to get worse before it gets better. We are not immune from these challenging times," said Stephen Brooks, president of manufacturing operations. Additionally, a decreased demand for truck tires will result in the loss of 191 hourly employees, 34 maintenance and 34 salaried teammates beginning in mid-March. Brooks said if the economy improves, the jobs could be restored. "We hope that the economy will begin to recover later this year; as a result we also hope that we will be in a position to begin calling teammates back to work in the truck and bus tire production area, perhaps as early as the fourth quarter of 2009," he said. Bridgestone Firestone said truck and bus tire manufacturing will continue at the LaVergne plant with more than 700 employees.

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