Innovative Hearth Products in Union City, Tenn. closing


Reporter - Robert Bradfield
Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins
Web Editor - Mason Stevenson

UNION CITY, Tenn. - Union City, Tennessee Mayor Terry Hailey says more layoffs are coming to his town.

He says Innovative Hearth Products of Nashville, Tennessee, which was formerly Lennox Hearth Products, is laying off 260 employees next spring and summer. He told Local 6 he was caught off guard to get the news.

"I really thought that they were adding to the employment there and things were going well for them," Hailey said.  

He said he knows it's another blow to his city that is still coming off the shutdown of the Goodyear Plant in 2011, but said they are working hard to get past both. 

"We are in fact working awfully hard to bring in new things for them to do and hopefully some of that will take place," he said.

People like Andre Warren who live in town feel for families who are impacted and worried about future of Union City.

"We've got to make a living and keep our home environment up so I don't know," he said.

Company CEO Mark Klein says the layoffs are a result of a competitive building products industry and says the company can no longer remain a low cost producer.

The company produces indoor fireplaces, outdoor fireplaces, fireplace inserts, pellet, wood, or gas burning stoves, gas log sets and fireplace accessories.

Klein says operations at the Union City plant are being merged with a plant in Alabama.

This latest round of layoffs in Union City follows the closure of the Goodyear plant in 2011.