Fostoria's Honeywell to Phase Out 350 Jobs

FOSTORIA -- Fostoria is trying to balance out some good economic news with some bad economic news. The Honeywell Autolite plant there will begin layoffs next month, and when finished, 350 jobs will have been sent to Mexico, reports News 11's Dick Berry.

Just last week a telemarketing firm announced it is opening shop in Fostoria and hiring 100 people. Later this week, ground will be broken for a new ethanol plant that will eventually employ 50 people.

But for every economic step forward, Fostoria seems to take a step back -- especially with the ambiguity surrounding another company's future.

The news is not good for workers at Honeywell Autolite. The first wave of layoffs -- about 50 -- will begin next month. When all is said and done, 350 jobs will have been shifted to Mexico, closing this plant's spark plug manufacturing line.

"They're gonna send them jobs to Mexico. What's going to happen to those spark plugs? Come back and get re-built here," says Les Row.

"Of course, any time you lose enough jobs, it's going to affect the economy. It's a definite possibility," says Jim Richardson, a Fostoria resident.

At least 300 jobs will remain at the plant. Union officials refused to talk to News 11, but Mayor John Davoli says the Honeywell jobs leaving Fostoria will be spread out over several years. His city of 14,000 will be able to absorb the gradual loss, he says.

"Other companies in town are hiring more people. That's the good news I have for you. Those companies are picking up more employees. Three to four,  five to six there -- and they do that on a weekly basis," says Mayor Davoli.

The other talk of the town is the future of the Thyssen Krupp Plant. The company is deciding whether to move its crankshaft operation and 400 jobs from Fostoria to Illinois.

"I think the companies, all they want is profit. That's the only thing they go for, profit, profit. They don't worry about the little man," Richardson says.

Thyssen Krupp was supposed to make a decision last December. It's delayed an announcement, something Mayor Davoli says is unfair to workers. "They don't know how to do their finances, and they don't know if they'll have a job in a month. It makes it hard on those families. They don't know for sure where they stand," he says.

In the meantime, Fostoria and Ohio continue to dangle incentives at Thyssen Krupp to remain here while it's too late for Honeywell Autolite to change its mind.

Posted by KO