Millen residents, mayor react to loss of 200 Jockey jobs

By: Lynnsey Gardner
By: Lynnsey Gardner

The town of Millen's biggest employer will soon lay off more than 200 employees.

Employees at Millen's Jockey plant were shocked this morning when they were told by corporate officials and local managers that many of them will soon be unemployed.

The plant is phasing out its sewing operations.

It was a silent afternoon today after a devastating morning at Millen's Jockey plant. Over 200 workers were given the day off after being told they will lose their jobs at the end of the year.

While things were quiet at the plant, the news was the talk of the town at Cindy's Cafe.

Judy Wasden has lived in Millen for more than 40 years and has seen lots of changes...but she says this move by the town's largest employer is crushing.

"Jockey's been here so long and employed so many people," she said. "Lots of families involved...it's really bad."

The impact of the news on Millen has yet to be seen, but in a small town where this plant has been the only employer many have ever known, a lot of people don't know where to go from here.

"It's going to be tough for a while," said Millen mayor King Rocker. "Going to be tough on the employees that have been there their entire lives and are within four or five years of retiring."

Rocker remains hopeful about Millen's future.

"We just got to make an investment in the community and got to lure someone else here. Those are some things we are working on. We hope they can get put back in jobs as fast as they can."

"I just hate it for the people here and the businesses," Judy said. "It's a nice town. Nice place to live, nice people, nice city government. It's just devastating."

Judy hopes her community can bounce back from this...and that happier news can be on the menu at Cindy's Cafe.

The plant is not shutting down entirely. Those employed as fabric cutters will keep their jobs.

The sewing operation will be gradually phased out. Jockey representatives say the shutdown will be complete by the end of the year.

Jockey says they will provide severance pay, benefits, and job training to the departing employees.


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