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More Workers Laid off at Milan Arsenal

By Emily Cassulo
By ecassulo@wbbjtv.com

MILAN, Tenn. - Another round of layoffs went into effect at the Milan Arsenal, Thursday as the facility moves operations to another ammunitions plant in Iowa.

Arsenal officials said they first notified employees about the layoffs back in 2008. Workers said it still does not make losing their jobs any easier.

When WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News first visited the Milan Arsenal last March, it was a lot busier.

Now workers said it is a ghost town.

"Everybody's gone but just a few of us, and several more's going to leave today," said displaced worker Lynn Smith.

30 workers are being laid-off from the Milan Army Ammunition Plant, Thursday.

The plant started with 650 employees before the layoffs began last March.

As of Monday, they will only have 134 employees.

"I wish things were changed, but that's out of our hands," said displaced worker Bobby Gage.

It is because the plant is moving production facilities from Milan to Iowa.

Many like Smith and Gage have worked at the arsenal for more than 30 years.

"My father worked out here for about 40 years and I've got a younger brother that's still working out here at this time," Smith said.

Employees said the arsenal is not just where they worked. It is their home too.

"You work around all these people, and it's like losing members of your family, because we've all worked together so long, and been together so long. It's just really hard," Gage said.

"It's just part of your family," Smith said. "It feels like it's dying, you know, losing everybody."

Some workers said they have already started looking for jobs, but added losing this job was hard enough.

The ammunition plant said it has brought in state representatives to help those employees with job training and displaced worker programs.

They said eight companies are currently looking to relocate to the arsenal, and those that move in will bring back jobs.
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