In the paper- and glass manufacturing industry, there’s a new round of cuts.
Workers in Tennessee’s paper and glass industry are waiting for the state to cut back on their pay and benefits.
“This is what’s happening, this is the reality, they’re not getting a raise,” said James Smith, a Chattanooga-area paper-maker.
Smith is one of thousands of paper-makers in Tennessee who lost their jobs at a Chattanooga company that makes the glass used in most paper products.
The company says it’s waiting for state and federal regulators to certify the state’s production of paper products, which is required to receive tax credits for the tax breaks it gets.
But the cuts are coming at a time when Chattanooga’s economy is slowing.
The city’s unemployment rate has climbed from 6.3 percent in December to 11.2 percent in May, the state said.
The state has said it expects the paper industry to add more than 700,000 jobs by 2021.
The paper industry is not alone.
In February, the paper and paperboard industry in Tennessee shed more than 7,000 workers.
But Smith and others are worried.
“We need more paper,” he said.
Smith’s company, Paper, Paperboard, is one that employs more than 1,000 people in the city of Chattanooga.
He said the company had to move production to Mexico.
The move cost the company $1 million in overtime.
Smith says the company lost a few employees during the plant shutdown.
But he says that’s only because his union and other unions were trying to get the company to rehire them.
Smith says he’s hoping the plant reopens soon.