Layoffs at Y-12 Could Impact Entire Community

By: Kim Bedford
By: Kim Bedford

Oak Ridge (WVLT) - New information on the future thousands of Y-12 employees. Senator Lamar Alexander tells us congress should vote on the plant's budget by mid-November. If the budget isn't passed, it could mean layoffs for the workers..

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford shows us how one local restaurant relies on Y-12's business.

The Soup Kitchen may be small, but they've been serving up big meals for 27 years.

"We get quite a bit of business from the Y-12 employees," manager Gayle Dittmer said.

Manager Gayle Dittmer says a lot of their soup goes straight to the Y-12 plant.

"We do catering at the plant for different meetings that they have, and they have a lot of training that we provide lunches for," Dittmer said.

Not to mention the Y-12 workers that fill up their dining room for lunch and dinner.

"We know a lot of the workers. I've been here 16 years and you just get to know them. They become like family cause they're here all the time," Dittmer said.

Where some of Y-12's employees go after Congress votes in November is up in the air right now.

"The Democratic leadership needs to bring the legislation that we've already approved up for a vote, and if it does and it passes, then we won't have layoffs," Senator Lamar Alexander said. "I'm not going to try to predict what the senate will do. I can predict I'm going to work hard."

In the meantime, Soup Kitchen employees work hard serving food for Y-12 as a chunk of their money comes from the men and women inside the plant.

"There would be less income coming in," Dittmer said. "Probably a small percentage, but still we do rely on them for business."

Dittmer says dollars aside, Y-12 means so much to the region.

"The Y-12, it's a part of Oak Ridge and always has been and always will be. We're the Secret City, so they just have to stay here," Dittmer said.

The Chair of Knoxville's Democratic party, Don Daugherty says quote: "The Republicans are playing politics as usual and Lamar Alexander is out of touch with Tennessee and what's going on down here."


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