Sea Ray Planning Layoffs

By: Mike McCarthy Email
By: Mike McCarthy Email

Knoxville (WVLT) - Nearly 100 East Tennessee boatmakers have lost their jobs but that's only part of the jobs Knoxville-based Sea Ray Boats has cut.

Volunteer TV's Mike McCarthy is following the story.

Two of the affected manufacturing plants are in Knox county and one is in Vonore.

And the job cuts don't end at Tennessee's borders.

Sea Ray Boats laid off a total of 185 workers in East Tennessee, Florida, and Ohio.

That's about 5% of the company's total workforce.

The company says falling boats sales caused the cuts.

The company also will shut down during the week of Thanksgiving to try and save money.

Sea Ray's is a unit of Brunswick Corporation in Illinois.

Company Spokesman Dan Kubera says this year marks the worst year for boat sales, industry wide, since 1965.

"It's not just what people are paying at the pump, but it's the extra money at the grocery store and the clothing store, the petroleum prices are higher. It's more expensive for farmers," said Kubera.

This marks Sea Ray's second round of job cuts in three months.

The company laid off 90 workers in early August.

Sea Ray employs about 1,900 workers in Knoxville.

The company says workers who've lost their jobs will get help in the transition.

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