ALLIANCE, Ohio (WKBN) – Over 400 workers at Alliance Castings Company, which makes railroad car parts, will be laid off next year.
The company announced Thursday that it is idling the plant on January 28, which could lead to layoffs of up to 426 employees.
There are 360 union and 66 salaried workers. The company is not saying how long they will be laid off.
United Steelworkers Local 2211 President Ken Meredith said the company blames the downturn in the energy field.
Those hundreds of layoffs will have a ripple effect, touching everything from Alliance businesses to workers throughout northeast Ohio.
“It’s more of a neighborhood bar. Everybody knows everybody,” said Sandra Layne, owner of Munchy’s Bar, located across the street from Alliance Castings.
She says the layoffs are another sign of the decline she’s been seeing in the area.
“A lot of businesses back in the ’80s and ’90s, and it really has died down. It seems like each year it gets less and less people.”
Jeffrey Todd Hall, Jr. watched his father work at the plant in better times.
“He went in there, made money, got along with everyone there. He just busted his butt,” Hall said.
Hall now commutes to Alliance from Salem. He says getting laid off would hit hard, especially with his daughter due to be born next month.
“All the elders that work there, they’ve been through it multiple times. What they tell us is to hang in there, get through it all and we’ll all be there working beside each other.”
Mayor Alan Andreani released a statement Friday regarding the layoffs:
Our first thoughts are with the employees and their families at this time. We are hopeful that the duration will be very short, and that Alliance Castings will return to full working status as soon as possible. We will help the employees and the company any way we can as a City.
This isn’t the first time that Alliance Castings has gone idle. The most recent lasted almost two years before reopening in 2011.
Alliance Castings was not available for comment Friday. The United Steelworkers said on Facebook that it will try to help everyone who is laid off.