Vinita Business Closing Will Leave Nearly 200 Out Of Work

Friday, July 13th 2012, 11:37 pm
By: Tess Maune

A Green Country factory is closing its doors, leaving nearly 200 people out of work.

It's business as usual at Cinch Connectors in Vinita, but there's now a dark cloud looming over the factory.

Some employees said they were blind sided by the news.

Many of them have been with the company for years and say they don't know what they'll do when the factory shuts down.

"They just called us in about three o'clock and told us they was closing the Vinita plant," said Cinch employee Darla Brandon.

Brandon and about 180 of her co-workers found out Thursday, by the end of the year, they'd be out of a job.

"It's just a big shock, and it's gonna take a while. It hadn't really set in on me yet, but it probably will later on," Brandon said.

The Cinch plant makes parts for the airline industry. It's been a vital part of the community in Vinita for 40 years.

Vinita Chamber of Commerce director, J.C. Kinder says the small town will take a hit.

"That'll affect 200 families, so that along with the domino effect that goes along with that for the people they do business with in the town, it will be a huge impact on the community," Kinder said.

Cinch is moving its Vinita operation to a new plant in McAllen, Texas, which is close to another Cinch factory in Mexico that makes the same parts.

The company issued a statement saying: "Like other manufacturers, Cinch is under intense and unrelenting pressure to reduce costs and enhance our distribution capabilities to compete effectively in today's tough global economy,"

Now, Cinch employees are faced with something even tougher: What to do next?

"Monday, I wish they could come in and tell us no, we changed our mind, we're gonna keep ya open, but I don't think that's gonna happen," said Brandon.

There is some good news: A similar plant is opening later this month in Vinita.

It's called HyPro, a company that makes tractor parts.