More layoffs expected at Arvin Meritor

More layoffs expected at Arvin Meritor
By: CJ Cassidy
DEXTER, Mo. - Another wave of layoffs at a Heartland plant; this time dozens in Dexter prepare to hit the unemployment line. The auto industry slump begins to wear thin on Southeast Missouri plant workers.
This is actually the third round of cuts at Arvin Meritor; a company that makes auto parts. The first round hit in November last year. Then in December, plant managers gave more people pink slips. This latest round, set to happen Friday will take about 45 more jobs.
Many employees don't yet know if they're getting axed, but union leaders say the company isn't violating contract rules because they're only required to give 24 hours notice. In fact they knew some people would lose their jobs weeks ahead.
But people waiting to get the bad news, and those who've already been laid off wish the company would try to be a little more considerate.
Kaye Cecil's been job searching ever since she lost her job at Arvin Meritor in December. "When I got my check supervisors told me they didn't need me no more, I was getting laid off. I felt sick to my stomach - there's no jobs out there besides minimum wage," Cecil says.
After working on the assembly line for about two years, all Cecil had was rumor and speculation to go on, before the company laid her off. "It seems like they wait until the last minute to tell you," she says.
Other employees agree. Several had no idea if Friday would be their last day working at the Dexter plant. "It's tough I don't like to see anyone laid off," Union Chairman, Louie Seay points out.
More than one hundred of his crew have hit the road since November, but plant leaders assure him this could be the last layoff for a while. "There's a paint crew in there, and business is expected to pick up they've allocated two million dollars to fix the place up," he says.
He also adds " I don't know how we can keep jobs if we can't get car sales back in line. We're like their customers if they can't sell them we're in big trouble."
But Kaye Cecil says plant leaders ought to put a "muffler" on rumors, and warn employees of trouble ahead of time. "If they would give you more notice, more time to find a job prepare for it," she says.
Union leaders are also trying to get workers losing their jobs, an allowance and free training for other employment. They're also hopeful some of those who get the pink slip tomorrow, can be called back down the road.