Rally to keep MillerCoors brewery in Eden open

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EDEN, N.C. -- Bobby Burchell remembers when the MillerCoors plant in Eden first opened in 1978.

"I was here when they opened the doors," Burchell said. "Looks like I’m going to be here when they close the doors."

Burchell, who's worked in both packaging and brewing, rallied with dozens of other workers Wednesday to fight for his job.

"We are doing everything that we possibly can to keep this brewery open," he said.

The protest comes just months before the brewery is set to close in September, cutting more than 500 jobs.

"It's very heartbreaking," he said.

"This company is throwing people out to the curb like a piece of trash," said Vernon Gammon, secretary-treasurer for Teamsters Local 391.

Attorney General Roy Cooper, who is running for governor, spoke at the rally.

Cooper said he's trying to find a way to keep the plant open or to get MillerCoors to sell to another company to keep the jobs from being cut.

"They have worked hard,” Cooper said. “They have succeeded. This plant has been one of the best in America and to have the rug jerked out from under them is not fair."

Cooper says he's sent investigative demands to MillerCoors to see if the state or U.S. Department of Justice can take any legal action.

Burchell says as much as he wants to keep his job, he’s already making other plans.

"When it does close, I will go into retirement," Burchell said.

Gov. Pat McCrory also visited the plant and met with city and county leaders last September when the closure was first announced.

Phone calls made by FOX8 to MillerCoors for comment have not been returned.