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Grove, Okla plant closings its doors - KOAM TV 7

Grove, Okla plant closings its doors; more than 60 lose their jobs

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More than 60 workers are laid off at an Oklahoma battery manufacturing plant and are now left searching for jobs just before the holidays.

Xtreme Power has been operating a plant out of Grove for more than four years now.  But the company says it's shutting down because of a decline in demand for the lead-acid batteries it produces.

"I started working for them in April and I got laid off in October so I worked for them for six months almost exactly," says former employee Debbie Tiernan.  "I was in the first round of layoffs and then they laid off the rest a couple of days ago."

Tiernan says the layoff was unexpected.

"They did a temporary lay off last year - furlow - I think that's what everyone was expecting and that's not what they got, it's a permanent shut down and they were hoping some investors would buy the company and get everybody their jobs back but there's no guarantee," says Tiernan.  "We're moving to Tulsa.  That's where I was able to get work."

Grove Chamber of Commerce President Lisa Friden says that the company has been in the community for more than four years and that during the summer they employed more than 100 workers.

"As of Tuesday we were notified that they were just going to be running on a skeleton crew," says Friden.  "I think they have about 10 to 12 employees that are currently working."

Friden says a business closing means more than just jobs.

"It's never good for a community to lose jobs and especially not this time of year and so we're just really hopeful that they are going to be able to reorganize or sell or whatever is in their plans and they'll be able to get those people back to work," says Friden.

While she is now forced to move, Tiernan says Xtreme Power did their best to take care of employees, even with the layoffs.

"The benefits were really good, they were very fair," Tiernan says.  "Even the layoff they did the best they could, trying to give everyone severance and our time off.  They tried their best to take care of us, but they just couldn't."

Workers tell us that they hope another company will buy the factory soon so that they can quickly return to work.

Xtreme Power also has manufacturing plants in Texas.

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