Warrenton plant shuts down

By: Diane Cho
By: Diane Cho

The Wheland Foundry plant in Warrenton is finally putting the brakes on their production.

More than 100 people are expected to lose their jobs after the company announced their plans to shut down.

Some in Warrenton were not surprised.

Since the plant closed the first time in 2002 and re-opened in 2003 under new ownership, the people in Warrenton tell me they knew this time would be no different.

Business at Gunn's convenience store is about to get a lot quieter.

Most of employee Charlotte Hawkins' regular customers are workers at the Wheland Foundry plant.

“All through breakfast, lunch and as you see as they get off they come and play the lottery.”

Since the plant announced its closing this week, she says those regulars are about to be gone for good.

“They have no reason to come here now they don't have a job.”

And while it means less business for Charlotte, to the 100 or so workers at the plant, it means they no longer have a source of income.

John Graham, the chairman of the Warren County Commission, tells News 12 he received a letter on Monday from the vice president of Wheland Foundry stating the brake casting manufacturer has been having problems keeping their volume up at the plant and they plan to phase out the closure in the next five weeks.

But Charlotte's customers tell her a different story.

“It was two weeks ago about the closing--first they said it wasn't going to close then I heard yesterday the actual closing is tomorrow and they'll put the locks on the doors tomorrow,” Charlotte says.

Calls to both the general manager of the plant in Warrenton and to the vice president in Tennessee were not returned to News 12. As efforts to contact plant executives have been unsuccessful, an exact closing date isn't clear yet.


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