Alcoa cutting 115 jobs in Tennessee in next year

Alcoa cutting 115 jobs in Tennessee in next year

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"I believe it was '59 when my husband was laid off," Farrah Wear recalled. "We went to West Virginia for nine months. It's not a good feeling." "I believe it was '59 when my husband was laid off," Farrah Wear recalled. "We went to West Virginia for nine months. It's not a good feeling."

By WHITNEY HOLMES
6 News Anchor/Reporter

ALCOA (WATE/AP) -- Aluminum maker Alcoa Inc. is cutting 115 of its 1,250 jobs at its Blount County smelter operation over the next year, according to The Associated Press.

The Pittsburgh-based company said Thursday the cuts are part of a corporate wide effort to reduce costs because of plummeting aluminum prices.

Hourly and salaried workers as well as contractors will be affected by the cuts.

Some of the jobs will be eliminated through attrition, company spokesman Kevin G. Lowery said. Employees were told Thursday.

The operation produces sheet aluminum for the beverage can industry.

As one of the largest employers in Blount County, the announcement of the lay-offs sent shockwaves through the community. Some say they're shocked, while others say they saw the writing on the walls.

"It does not surprise me. The commodities market right now and what Alcoa does produce is being affected globally," explained Michael Whitlock, a customer at Gracie's, a popular lunch spot for Alcoa employees.

Whitlock is worried about the impact of the lay-offs on the community. He says less people employed means less money to the local economy.

Meanwhile, Farrah Wear, another customer says she is feeling "real nervous." Her son's been working at Alcoa for 30 years. She thinks his job is safe.

"They don't have a lot that does his work. There is just four or five," Wear said.

Wear's husband worked for Alcoa for 45 years and the feeling she has today is all too familiar.

"I believe it was '59 when my husband was laid off," Wear recalled. "We went to West Virginia for nine months. It's not a good feeling."

They survived then and she hopes those who lose their jobs now will survive.

Some portions of this report copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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