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      Hundreds of workers shut out of Safe Auto in Hemingway

      Dozens of employees say they were informed at 11 a.m. Tuesday that the Safe Auto call facility in Williamsburg County is closing effective immediately.

      They received a severance package, including pay for the next 60 days, the workers said.

      The employees say company officials advised them to apply for unemployment benefits.

      160 people worked at the facility, according to Williamsburg County Sheriff Michael Johnson. Johnson says they laid off 100 people earlier this year.

      Mark LeMaster, Executive Vice President for Safe Auto says closing their Hemingway call center was not an overnight decision and says it had nothing to do with workers' performance.

      LeMaster added they needed to reduce space and the Hemingway facility is the company's largest building at 22,500 square feet.

      Company officials will meet with state and local officials in Williamsburg County Wednesday morning to determine what will happen to the building.

      Safe Auto has operated its call center in Hemingway for ten years.