Sunoco Layoffs Impact Local Economy

The mayor of Marcus Hook says more than half of the city's $2.9 million budget comes from the Sunoco refinery.

Around 490 Sunoco employees are expected to be laid off due to the company idling a refinery in suburban Philadelphia.

But the massive amount of planned pink slips won’t just impact the company’s workers; the surrounding Marcus Hook community will be affected as well.

The mayor of the city claims that more than half of Marcus Hook’s $2.9 million budget comes from the refinery.

“There’s nobody in here today,” said Wayne Scott, a barber at a neighborhood shop. “Not that many workers are around here anymore.”

Refinery workers normally visit Scott’s shop during their lunch breaks. He says the barbershop will likely lose 40% of its business because of the layoffs.

“We’re just going to try to do business as much as we can in here and keep it in the community.”

Employees at the Connolly’s Pub are facing a similar situation. Joe Lyons, a retired refinery worker who now bartends at Connolly’s, says the layoffs are devastating the town and will cause a ripple effect.

“When they get laid off, businesses like the diner and places like that are going to have a hard time,” said Lyons. “The stores, sandwich shops, pizza shops, that’s all going to be affected and the bars.”

Sunoco says union workers will receive wages and benefits for 90 days and that laid-off employees will get severance and job placement counseling. Many Marcus Hook residents however are expecting the worst.

“With the national scene and the economy, with this happening, there’s not much hope for some people,” said one resident.

“The taxes are going to go up, their school tax, their county tax, their borough tax, it’s all going to escalate,” said another. “People won’t be able to afford to live here much longer.

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