Maintenance workers at Augusta plant laid off after outsourcing

By: Sheli Muniz Email
By: Sheli Muniz Email
Thermal Ceramics building

Thermal Ceramics decided to outsource their maintenance department. The plant laid off 40 people. (June 9, 2011 / WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, June 9, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Dozens of workers at a local plant could soon be joining the unemployment line. That's because Thermal Ceramics, who manufactures ceramic fiber products, decided to outsource their maintenance department, which means about 40 people got pink slips.

According to maintenance workers, this all happened Wednesday morning after they were called to a meeting.
Some of these workers had been there for more than 20 years.

Marvin Pike worked there for 22 years. Now, his company wants to give his job and the rest of the jobs in his department to other people.

Pike says, "One day, it's dropped on us like a bomb. You got 10 days, get your tools, and go home."

The maintenance department now outsourced jobs to Advanced Technology Services (ATS) who are based out of Illinois.

Pike says, "It's going to be real rough on some people. I will survive. I'm not going to die."

We went to Thermal Ceramics for answers, but security asked us to leave. Human Resources eventually told us they can't answer any questions and that only those in the corporate office can.

As of Thursday afternoon, we were still waiting on a response from them.

Meanwhile, those workers are reading this statement of sorts.
In the paperwork, they are offered an interview with the company. All of those laid off have a chance to keep their jobs.

Pike says, "They will decide on who they are going to keep or not and who are they gonna let go. These people are not going to have any other place to go. They have to feed their families, children, and schools. It's going to be real rough on them."

Some of those people like Marvin, who have been there for more than 20 years, now wait. They wait for a shot at their job again.

The United States is seeing more domestic outsourcing. It's a way for companies to save money in these tough times and ensure jobs are staying in the United States.

According to the ATS website, in our area, companies like E-Z-Go and Georgia Iron Works have also made this transition.

As for these workers, they are currently interviewing with ATS and letters will be sent out by Monday letting them know.

For those who don't, the Department of Labor says they can apply for unemployment even if the department has not been notified of the layoffs.

ATS says based on seniority, some workers can stay within a different capacity.

No word if that means they will have to take a pay cut.

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