Hundreds to be laid off at Dexter plant - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Hundreds to be laid off at Dexter plant

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By Heartland News

DEXTER, MO (KFVS) - Faurecia, a plant in Dexter, is laying off hundreds of employees.

As of Wednesday, the company has 1,042 workers at its Dexter location.

By September, that number will whittle down to almost 500.

The French based company that makes exhaust systems, blames the tough auto industry for this most recent round of layoffs.

It's a rough start to the new year as employees at Faurecia learn a huge wave of layoffs is coming.

The plant has had a number of name changes over the years. It became Faurecia last February.

With that change, a number of workers were hired.

"I believe 1,042 is probably the highest this plant's ever seen," said Bobby Ward, Human Resource Manager. 

The last big round of layoffs at the plant was in 2009 when the auto industry really took a hit.

"We make exhausts for GM, Ford, Chrysler, Harley-Davidson, BMW, and Volkswagen", said Ward. "The automotive industry is really tough."

They're basically cutting the workforce in half, going down to 500-550 employees.

"We will be transferring assembly lines to North American facilities," said Ward.  

Meanwhile, it will not only affect workers, but the city as a whole. An Amerimart Sinclair service station is just down the road from the plant.

"Business has picked up the past several months," said Laura Pullum-Amerimart Employee. 

That's with the additional workers at the plant, but now with the layoffs announcement she is concerned. 

"It's going to hurt business," said Pullum. 

At this point workers still don't know for sure who will stay and who will go. The UAW union chairman says while it's bad news, it's not as bad as originally thought.

"I'm really glad it isn't the plant closing because a lot of people thought this morning when they called them all together that they closed the whole production down", said Louie Seay.

The layoffs will happen over time. They will begin in March, and run through September.

"As a company we will work with every employee this affects, and make it as easy of a transition as possible," said Ward. 

Ward says if production picks back up, some of those displaced workers could get hired back.

The company is set to meet with the union to negotiate severance packages and other matters.

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