Vienna AC plant to close - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Vienna AC plant to close

August 19, 2003

Vienna-- Nearly 100 people are out of a job in Vienna. Sun Air Conditioning is shutting its doors after twenty years of making air conditioning units. Corporate leaders won't discuss the closing, but workers outside the plant did.

It's lunchtime at Sun AirConditioning--dozens of employees linger outside the Vienna plant. All the talk is the same. Employee George Brown says, "You know how people talk. Well, they are going to close, we thought it might just be a lay-off for a couple weeks until they could get things straight, but nobody really thought it was going to be a closure."

Ninety-five employees got the news last week, including George Brown. He says in a called meeting Tuesday, each was handed a letter and was told the plant would close October 11th, "They say we will be here until October 11th, we are guaranteed a job until then. So I guess I don't have to be in too big a rush, but you don't want to wait until the last minute."

Other employees say they have already started looking for a new job-- although it hasn't been promising so far. Employee Jerry Turner says, "I've been to the unemployment office and nothing is on the computer. I guess I will just draw unemployment and go back to school."

And still others say there are rumors of a plant hiring in another city. Otis Burden says, "It's going to be in Cordele they said, a place called MBM. A lot of us filled out applications down there but we are not sure if we will be hired or not."

The future of the 95 employees at Sun AirConditioning is unsure, and employees like George Brown say they are cynical of anyone saying the economy is bouncing back, "It's hard to watch the news at night and they say things are looking good and picking up and you come to work and you are out of a job. You don't put a lot of faith in what you hear." And for these workers, not a lot of faith in their jobs either.

No one at Sun's parent company, Fedders Corporation in New Jersey, returned our phone calls today. Employees say they were told the plant is closing because production is down and the company is moving production to plants in Texas and Illinois.

Posted at 4:00 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com

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