Hundreds of people losing their jobs as Memphis manufacturing plant plans to close

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Hundreds of people are losing their jobs after a devastating announcement from a Memphis manufacturing plant.

The Cummins ReCon plant on Pershing, just north of Summer Avenue, is closing by the end of September, putting roughly 300 people out of work. 

Unfortunately, less people are buying the refurbished auto engine parts the facility produces. In a statement, the company said, “The key driver for the decision is that turbochargers are lasting longer, thereby decreasing the demand for remanufactured turbochargers.”

Mayor Jim Strickland says this is the kind of news he never wants to hear.

“I talked to the company today, their representatives,” Strickland said, “[I] asked them if there was any way we could get them to change their mind, and they said, unfortunately, not.”

Strickland says he feels bad for workers losing their jobs in the middle of a pandemic.

“They were really good paying jobs, light manufacturing, Starting salaries at $19 or more an hour,” Strickland said. “It’s one of those things that happened in the economy. I just wish it didn’t happen right now in our city, because we’ve had so much bad economic news in the last ten months anyway.”

Cummins is consolidating its operation on Pershing with its location in South Carolina. The company says workers here can apply for other positions, including potential openings at two distribution centers in Memphis. 

Strickland says Cummins will still own the building on Pershing. He hopes the company can do something productive with it.

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