Closure of Philips Lighting plant to affect 160 employees

SE Mass

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — More than 100 jobs in Fall River are leaving the city for Mexico, after employees in the manufacturing end of the Philips Lighting plant were told Friday the operations would close this year. 

Approximately 160 workers will be affected by the decision to stop production, which will be transferred to Mexico. Philips said they would assist the employees who are affected by the closure.

Joseph Santos works at the Fall River manufacturing plant. Santos is also the President of IBEW 14-99, which is the union which represents approximately 100 employees at Philips.

“We’re upset, we’re not happy,” Santos said.

Former Fall River Mayor William Flanagan is calling on President Donald Trump for assistance in preventing Philip’s closure. Flanagan penned a letter to Trump asking him to intervene and keep the promises he made in the 2016 election.

“He stated that America would be great again. Cities and towns like Fall River would be winning again,” Flanagan said. “That there would be consequences for companies like Philips, who decided to close their operations in America, and move to countries like Mexico.”

President of the Fall River Industrial Park Association Karl Hetzler said once the jobs are gone, the city will likely never see them again.

“They may not come back,” Hetzler said. “And it’s getting harder and harder to find good opportunities for people.”

Flanagan said he sent the letter to the White House via mail, email and through Twitter. So far, he has only received an automated response.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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