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Kingsport-based Eastman contractor laying off more than 200 workers

Hank Hayes • Jul 10, 2018 at 10:56 AM

KINGSPORT – TEC Industrial, an Eastman contractor with an operations center based in Kingsport, has notified the state that it is laying off 238 employees effective next Monday.

The notice said the employees are not represented by a collective bargaining agreement. According to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, a local workforce development rapid response team, employed by the Alliance for Business and Training, has been notified to coordinate services with the employer and affected employees.

But an Eastman spokesman indicated a number of those contract jobs won’t be going away.

“(TEC Industrial) had been providing supplemental maintenance services for our site in Kingsport until recently,” Eastman spokesman Brad Belote explained in an email. “Jacobs Field Services now provides those services. Eastman selected Jacobs after an extensive and thoughtful review of responses received through a competitive bidding process. Jacobs is also providing those services at our Longview, Texas, site. The bidding process is pursuant to Eastman's policy to periodically review service contracts and, when appropriate, request bids for service contracts to ensure that Eastman's service providers' services and associated costs are competitive in their respective industries. Eastman selected Jacobs because Jacobs offered the most competitive bid with a service package that best fit our needs and expectations of our business partners. Eastman's service providers are key partners in our efforts to continually improve cost and quality while driving growth.

“It is my understanding that the vast majority of (TEC Industrial) contractors were offered and accepted positions at Jacobs.”

TEC Industrial’s website says it has been in business since 1947.

“We direct hire skilled and certified craftsmen including electricians, instrumentation technicians, pipefitters, millwrights, welders, ironworkers, and various civil crafts to provide plant maintenance services, execute turnkey projects or single discipline construction packages,” the company says. “We also employ specialists such as project and construction managers, engineers, project controls, quality control and other specialty technicians to support a broad array of services for our customers.”

The company has done capital projects at Eastman and the Holston Army Ammunition Plant.

A year ago, two Eastman contractors disclosed layoffs amid the company’s aggressive cost management effort.

The layoff notices are part of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

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