New York, NY–On March 16, just hours after Thomson officials announced that they were closing their Marion, Indiana, television picture-tube plant, the factory burst into flames. No deaths and one minor injury were reported.
According to an interview with the Associated Press, fire chief Steve Gorrell stated that evidence found at the scene suggests arson as the cause of the fire. Flames broke out approximately four hours after 990 workers learned that they had lost their jobs and that the plant was closing. Marion’s Farnsworth Radio and Television plant has been in operation since 1948.
“We know how it started, it’s just a matter of finding out who started it,” Gorrell told the press. “It appears to be arson.”
The plant closing reflects attempts by Thomson–manufacturer of the RCA and Technicolor brands–to revive its components division by moving production to China, Mexico and Poland. Foreign outsourcing is a cost-cutting tactic now practiced widely by consumer electronics manufacturers.
The Marion closing and concurrent termination of 545 jobs at Thomson’s Circleville, Ohio, facility, drop Thomson’s U.S. workforce below 10,000.