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Fortis Plastics Closes

By Joe Sullivan
By jsullivan@wbbjtv.com

The entire Fortis Plastics Plant in south Jackson is shutting down,
meaning 43 people will be out of work. The employees found out the bad news Friday. The news of the plan's closing came as a shock to many. Saturday, certified letters were given to the workers.

"Well, it is unfortunate. Madison County has the lowest unemployment rate in West Tennessee but no-one feels good about that," said Jackson Mayor Jerry Gist. "We have 5,000 people that are unemployed in Madison County and I think about 40 employees (Fortis) which means they do not have to send out a Warren bulletin which is Federal Law that they do that."

The company has been making plastics at the same location since 1976. Mayor Gist says the timing of this though is especially bad with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up in the next two months.

"It's heartbreaking, really because they have some unemployment compensation but that's not like having a job. The holidays are right around the corner and that means that if we don't get these 40 into existing industry, their Christmas will be pretty slim," said Mayor Gist.

The Fortis Plant makes parts for Whirlpool. Sources tell us the decision by Whirlpool to move most of their bigger line to Mexico has had a domino effect with Fortis plants feeling the impact.

"I think we will find out more. That it might go a lot deeper than just Jackson, Tennessee and Fortis,"said Mayor Gist.

Fortis human resources official Larry Knight offered no comment regarding the closing announcement.
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