(03/29/2002)
Ames True Temper, known locally as the "shovel plant," is laying off workers, including several from Calhoun and area counties. Early reports indicate about 80 workers have been receiving slips from the Parkersburg plant during the past 24 hours, and workers are expecting more to come.

Company executive David Randolph declined to return numerous phone calls to verify the nature of the layoff, although an employee told The Hur Herald, the company claims orders are down since 9-11.

The company is reportedly using seniority to decide who goes. "Some people were laid-off a year ago and never called back. So, it's pretty uncertain what might happen with this bunch," said a Calhoun worker who just got his slip.

About seventy people were recently fired or laid-off from the Parkersburg plant, during a transfer of operations to Pennsylvania.

Plant insiders have reported the company which purchased the operation has replicated production in Mexico, and can now produce most of the companies well-known garden tools. The NAFTA law continues to drain production jobs from the region.

"It looks pretty bleak to me," said an Ames employee, having worked at the operation for seven years.


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