HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Dec. 9, 2003) – Production has ceased at the Goodyear Dunlop Tires plant in Huntsville, and the unit's 1,100 hourly and salaried workers are searching for new jobs.
Goodyear officially closed the 34-year-old plant Dec. 5, but production ceased Nov. 26. Workers were told then they needn't report back to work after the Thanksgiving break, but they would be paid for what would have been their final week at the plant, according to United Steelworkers of America sources.
The plant, opened by Dunlop Holdings P.L.C. in 1969, was identified by Goodyear in this year's master contract negotiations as a target for closing because of its high operating costs. Goodyear took over operating control of the plant in 1999 when it formed its global alliance with Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. and acquired 75-percent ownership of the Dunlop tire plants in the U.S. and Europe.
The plant had a daily capacity of 27,000 passenger and light truck tires.
Goodyear said it has not finalized plans for the plant. If the equipment can be used at another facility, it will be moved at some point in the future, the company said.
All told, the plant had an $80 million payroll, according to local media accounts. Goodyear supplied outplacement training assistance for the displaced workers.