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For months, Velma Button was fearful that the end was coming.
So it was no surprise April 28 when Mattel Inc. announced that it would close the Medina toy plant where Mrs. Button, a traffic coordinator, and 296 other employees worked.
"We knew they were making comparisons between us and the plant in Augusta, Ga. Our inventory was high and certain things that were in the works had been slowed down or put on hold all of a sudden," she said.
Then, too, there were the layoffs last fall of 40 employees, and again in March when another 180 were let go.
Still, it is not easy for Mrs. Button and many others in this Orleans County community of 7,000 to think that for the first time since 1970, Medina will have to live without Fisher-Price, the village's largest employer which California-based Mattel Inc. acquired in 1993.
"I grew up in Albion and when all of my friends went off to college, I went to work at Fisher-Price four months after graduation. After five years, I remember thinking that the company was here to stay," the 25-year veteran said.
May 10 was to be the last day of work for most of the 175 employees still at the plant. Manufacturing ceases at the end of this month. Mrs. Button, a member of the transition team, expects …