Remember Paris

When Emerson pulls out of this small southern town, it'll leave bitterness and broken promises behind. That's what happens when a marriage ends badly.

Janice Chadwick, who'll be 60 when the plant closes, expects to collect a severance check of $6,075 -- $225 a year for each of her 27 years with the company.

Unlike younger workers with fewer years at Emerson, Chadwick can opt to take early retirement, but that'll mean reduced benefits. She hopes to find a new job, though after nearly thirty years of lifting and assembling, "I'd like to get out of factory work, maybe working in a grocery store or McDonald's."

It's a bitter pill to swallow for Chadwick, who'd hoped to retire from Emerson in five years and now faces the prospect of asking neighbors whether they want a drink with their burgers and fries.

Home Depot's Bernie Marcus (right) joined Chuck Knight (left) in Paris, Tennessee, in August 1998 to officially launch the Ridgid power-tool line. Four years later, the companies announced they were moving production overseas and closing Emerson's factory.
Bill McCutcheon/Paris Post-Intelligencer
Home Depot's Bernie Marcus (right) joined Chuck Knight (left) in Paris, Tennessee, in August 1998 to officially launch the Ridgid power-tool line. Four years later, the companies announced they were moving production overseas and closing Emerson's factory.
Jennifer Silverberg

"It is like we've given them the best years of our lives, and now they're slamming the doors in our faces," Chadwick says.

"They're not doing us right."

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