More jobs lost to foreign trade, competition - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

More jobs lost to foreign trade, competition

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March 29, 2004

Pearson--  Last Friday, 120 workers were laid off from Cady Industries in Pearson. 100 more will lose their jobs on Wednesday.

Workers at Cady Industries are saying goodbye to a family. "There's some of these people I've worked with for over 10 years, and its hard to say goodbye," said Eunice White. Eunice White has worked at the plant for 18 years. "We make the bags they put cotton bails in," said White.

Now she's one of more than 200 people left jobless. "It's just a hopeless feeling, you don't know what you're gonna do," said White.

"The people here are real polite, and we've all become good friends," said Jannie Giddens. But the layoffs come as no surprise to these workers. "We've been hearing rumors for a long time," said Giddens.

The business, which is one of the largest employers in Atkinson County, has been struggling to keep its doors open because of foreign trade and competition.

"Atkinson County has a workforce of about 2900 people, so that's almost 20 percent of the workforce here," said Cheryl Winters of the Georgia Department of Labor.

Workers from the Georgia Department of Labor were at the plant today to help these employees get back on their feet. "We want to make sure they know about all the resources available to them to help them get retrained and become re-employed as quickly as possible," said Winters.

And they're already lining up new prospects. "A manufacturer from Willacoochee is inquiring, some in Waycross, Coffee and Bacon County are also interested in these workers," said Winters.

So even though things seem bleak now... "It's like you've lost your best friend," said White. With the right guidance, these workers will find a new way to make their livings.

About 50 employees will stay at Cady Industries for a few weeks to finish up house-keeping duties.

posted at 2:15PM by dave.miller@walb.com