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Laid-off Sony DADC employees wonder what's next

Some people are reporting to work at Sony DADC but many more have been shown the door.

Posted: Jan 18, 2018 10:59 PM
Updated: Jan 19, 2018 2:17 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Some people are reporting to work at Sony DADC but many more have been shown the door.

Nearly four hundred employees have been let go. One man says he has worked at the Terre Haute plant for nearly seven years and wonders what he will do next.

Lonnie Ball was working second shift Wednesday night when he says he was told to gather his things and come to a meeting. He had already been working a couple of hours. He says he and roughly 75 others were told they were out of a job.

Ball says he knew the plant would shutdown eventually but everyone thought they at least had a few more years.

"We had, you know, six to eight machines running every night so we thought, well, we're still doing the business, putting out order changes. I had a friend that was putting out fifteen-twenty order changes a night."

Representatives with the company say dwindling demand for CDs and DVDs are to blame for the layoffs.

Ball says, "You can download everything on the internet which has really hurt us very badly."

At age 50, Ball is the sole provider for his wife, step-daughter and grandson. He says he planned to stay with the company until the doors closed.

Ball was given a packet with information about the layoff Wednesday night. One letter states he will be paid through March 23. Ball says he will also get severance based on his time with the company, and a bonus.

But, if Ball takes another job he may not be able to collect that money.

"I've got to take the opportunity when it comes. I mean, who's to say when this runs out that that job's going to be there. You know, I've got to take the loss, just have to work the overtime, whatever they can give me. I will say they did give us a little cushion, you know, so we can find, you know, other employment."

Ball has earned several performance awards as a machine operator assembling CDs and books together in a case.

He says he'd like to find another assembly job but knows he'll have to start from the bottom.

"I'll probably be making 12-13 dollars an hour which is a lot less than what the hell I was making."

Now Ball is wondering how all of this will impact his retirement and health care. He says Cobra, which offers an extension of his current plan, is just too expensive.

He says he does not want to collect unemployment but questions if there is a place for him in Terre Haute and if the Mayor and other leaders can help.

"I feel Terre Haute has got opportunities but maybe I don't fit the criteria. You know, I think maybe I need to go back to school. I seen (sic) something where Bennett said we'll get back on our feet. How does he know?" 


No matter what, Ball says he'll find a way to take care of his family, even if it means leaving the city he calls home.

Ball says the hiring process has changed since he was last looking for work. He wants to speak with a hiring manager face-to-face instead of applying online.

He hopes to get help with his resume and secure a new job as soon as possible.

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