Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon stopped in Perryville Friday to announce 400 new jobs over a period of time, most of which will be in Perryville where a new airport hangar will be built.More >>
PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) -
PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) - Answers are few and far between for Sabreliner employees let go earlier this week.
Sabreliner was recently bought by a company that takes over businesses in distress, and 154 people lost their jobs.
At job fairs in both Ste. Genevieve and Perryville, former employees applied for positions in the new company.
Under the new ownership, employees say they got an email telling them not to return to work until further notice.
Now they're waiting for the official termination letter in the mail.
While their jobs are in limbo, they lined up early Friday morning to apply to work at the new company.
The line started before 8 a.m. and by day's end more than 140 people had applied for a position in the new company.
But the process was slow-going with two representatives from the new ownership interviewing every applicant.
"Well Sabreliner Corporation has been downsizing the past couple of years and we're hoping this new management company can come in and help grow it back to what it once was," said Perry County Economic Development Executive Director Scott Sattler.
Of the more than 140 applicants, zero were willing to speak with us on camera.
Many seemed confused about their termination, and unsure if their job would be waiting for them under the new management.
Some long-time employees now face the possibility of unemployment.
But the ripples of a possible downsize are felt throughout the town.
"It affects our economy because they no longer have the ability to go to restaurants and buy gas and stuff like that. It limits their abilities," said Sattler.
Local business owners say they survive off their local customers.
"It's very important to me," said Kevin Lorenz, owner of Lorenz Shoe Store. "A lot of places require safety toes and that kind of thing and if they have to buy it, they usually buy it locally and I usually supply them with that safety foot ware. So it's really important to the economy."
"We got a lot of Sabreliner customers come in here," said Gage Slacer, manager at 15West Bar & Grill. "We see a lot of their business and it's really sad to see that they don't know what's going to happen to them."
We're told the new management will be going through applications this weekend, and hope to have people back to work soon.
It's unclear if everyone will be hired back.
Seventy-seven of the employees are union members. One hundred of those jobs are at the repair station in Perryville, 39 at the assembly center in St.. Genevieve, and 15 in Clayton.
The spokesperson says most employees may be rehired by the new owners as the new ownership group wants to keep the current business going.
Sabreliner does maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft, engines and their components.
F. Holmes Lamoreux, chairman and CEO, and Susan Aselage, president and vice chairman, will be leaving the organization, and the new ownership is expected to meet with employees in the coming weeks
Sabreliner Corporation says it lost half its business during federal government sequestration and has struggled financially since then.
Sabreliner had improved both its military and commercial businesses in recent weeks. New contracts have been won for the Perryville and Ste. Genevieve, MO, operations, and more than a dozen military and corporate aircraft are currently in work at Perryville.
The company has had several rounds of lay offs in the recent past. In June 2013, the company laid off 56 employees. In March 2013, Sabreliner laid off more than 50 people. In December of 2012, the company laid off about 50 people.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced Sabreliner would build a new hangar in Perryville in 2010.