GM Closing WY Stamping Plant, More (Months after union extorts higher wages)

Spectre

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From: http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=9170744

GM to close Wyoming stamping plant


By 24 Hour News 8 staff

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) -- The Wyoming stamping plant will be closed by General Motors by December 2009, 24 Hour News 8 has learned.

Tim Lee, the head of GM's stamping division, made the announcement at 2:15 p.m. Monday to a stunned group of employees. The 36th Street plant has 1,400 workers at this time.

Lee told the first-shift employees the work at the plant would be phased out and the plant would be closed in 14 months.

Greg Golembiewski, the president of UAW Local 730 that represents the stamping plant, told 24 Hour News 8's Rachael Ruiz the mood in the meeting was like a funeral, and the workers were shocked and devastated. Golembiewski said there was no indication the plant would be closed.

An employee told 24 Hour News 8 the reason for the plant closing is to mainstream the manufacturing and help save in transportation costs. The Wyoming stamping plant also makes dyes.

Human resources employees will work to determine a number of possible options for those unemployed, including early retirement, buyouts, or relocation to other General Motors facilities.

The closing became necessary as GM reevaluates its North American operations, said Lee. Forty percent of all parts manufactured at the Wyoming plant are for use in pickup trucks and SUVs, which have seen a decline in demand as gas prices rise.

Over the course of the next 12 to 14 months, the work done at the Wyoming plant will be shifted to other GM facilities.

Wyoming City Manager Curtis Holt told 24 Hour News 8, "It hurts. There's no doubt about it hurts. GM's been a good neighbor, a good city employer for 80 plus years, I think. And they've worked with us, we've worked them, we've always served them well and they've served us well."

Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner said in September that GM would have to make adjustments, particularly in stamping factories.

24 Hour News 8 will continue to follow this developing story.

=====

Earlier Monday, GM spokesman Chris Lee said SUV production at the Janesville, Wisconsin plant, with 1,200 workers represented by the United Auto Workers, will end December 23, earlier than GM had expected.

The Janesville plant also has a small- to medium-duty truck production line with 35 to 50 workers. They will keep working until they have filled an order for Isuzu Motors Ltd., which should take the plant through May or June, Lee said. Then the plant "will cease operations completely," he said.

Workers at the plant will get most of their pay from the company and unemployment benefits for up to two years under their union contract. They will have the option of transferring to other GM factories if jobs are open.

Most of the Janesville factory makes the GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban large SUVs, and sales of those vehicles have plummeted with an increase in gasoline prices to around $4 per gallon earlier this year. Gas prices have subsided closer to $3 per gallon nationwide, but that has done little to boost sales.

"That segment is really shrinking, so we had to make the difficult decision to have this cessation," Lee said.
 

Spectre

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Normally, the story would end there, but nooooo.

Check out the local union spokesdroid, whining about how he doesn't understand how this could happen... and then notice that instead of being at the plant working, he was at home goofing off ("had meetings at the union hall" is union-talk for "I'm a union official and I'm going to go goof off') when he got the call. And how it's all about me me me me and not about "how can we preserve some jobs", despite his token claim to be responsible to the workers.

http://video.woodtv.com/?video_id=14778

***

And some of the recent history of the plant:

Wyoming UAW workers support strike

September 25, 2007

When production technician Dan Donlin and 1,700 co-workers went on strike Monday, it was the first time most of the members of United Auto Workers Local 730 had walked a picket line at their General Motors plant... ?

http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2007/09/uaw_workers_picket_at_wyoming.html



UAW tentative agreement for GM Wyoming plant called ?great news? for workers

The Grand Rapids Press - MLive.com - May 9, 2008

UAW Local 730, representing workers at the General Motors Co. stamping plant in Wyoming, reached a tentative agreement Thursday with GM. Workers are expected to vote May 21 on the proposed agreement... ?

http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/05/uaw_tentative_agreement_for_gm.html



The UAW needs to die. Here's hoping this is the start of their death rattles.
 
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Wizegui

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Shouldn't Jetsetter be bringing us the GM news? As for the article itself, what else does the UAW expect GM to do? Continue to churn out SUVs that nobody wants to pay for their overpaid salaries? Only in America would this kind of crap happen...
 

Rokovak

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The fact that the union leader can't understand how things like this can and do happen, is indicative of why the UAW is dying in the first place. It's a lost cause.
 

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I think a long time ago the UAW may have had a purpose, but as of recently all i hear about is how plants can't fire bad workers because the UAW gets in the way, and how seniority matters more then the quality of work you put out. It also doesn't help that the wages a UAW worker recieved went from "high, but reasonable" to "WTF ARE YOU THINKING."

The selfishness of the few that still work for UAW jobs in Michigan is what prevents literally thousands of people from doing the work cheaper, better, and harder in the same state. I still love the idea of American factory workers making enough to support their family and atleast have a little luxury, but I'm pretty sure it went way beyond that quite a while ago.

I just hope that when the UAW does die corporations will realize that their are still plenty of people in Michigan who are more then willing to work.
 

Spectre

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Until the UAW dies and Michigan becomes a right-to-work state with business-friendly taxation and regulation, business will continue to flee the state.

VW is already leaving. Nissan is thinking about closing their Farmington Hills, MI engineering center and moving it to the South to join the rest of their operations.



You should start by firing that incompetent governor that you have. :D
http://www.mackinac.org/article.aspx?ID=9159
 

RUU-CHAMA

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Sometimes I think that the union heads are doing this on purpose. But come on GM, bring your plants down to Texas since we'll treat you right.
 

Spectre

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First, they need to get rid of the unions. Even if they open new plants down here, the UAW master agreement prevents them from opening a non-union plant anywhere in the US or Canada.
 

thedguy

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First, they need to get rid of the unions. Even if they open new plants down here, the UAW master agreement prevents them from opening a non-union plant anywhere in the US or Canada.
You guys are aware of my disliking of the uaw but whose fault was that agreement. Had GM not tried to screw exploit it's workforce they wouldn't be in the labor mess they are in, but what do you expect from corps that can't see 5 feet in front of them?

Business schools really need to start requiring chess lessons...
 

Spectre

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Oh, there's plenty of blame for all there - but right now, GM management isn't the problem in the labor relations issue. They *can't* fix the company problems until they dump the UAW (because the UAW has said they're not interested in helping).

Also, when did GM last try to exploit their workforce? 1939? It was a LONG time ago. OSHA has taken the place of the union in ensuring workplace safety. In fact, OSHA is more safety-nazi than the unions ever were... And if GM tries to screw their labor force over in the wages department, the country is more than sufficiently mobile now that those people will leave and GM will *have* to pay competitive wages to get people to work for them.
 

thedguy

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Oh, there's plenty of blame for all there - but right now, GM management isn't the problem in the labor relations issue. They *can't* fix the company problems until they dump the UAW (because the UAW has said they're not interested in helping).

Also, when did GM last try to exploit their workforce? 1939? It was a LONG time ago.
Sounds about right, but still their own damn fault, especially for allowing that damn master agreement. BTW, you got any links to more on that master agreement? I see plenty of people/articles mention it but nothing more.

OSHA has taken the place of the union in ensuring workplace safety. In fact, OSHA is more safety-nazi than the unions ever were... And if GM tries to screw their labor force over in the wages department, the country is more than sufficiently mobile now that those people will leave and GM will *have* to pay competitive wages to get people to work for them.
Or the company could uproot and go to China/Mexico. Oh wait...
 

Spectre

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Funny how things work in the US between different manufacturers. Honda simply scales back their truck production without having to get the UAW's permission, while GM has to close plants completely. Maybe GM could open their next plant in Florida or some other right-to-work state.
Again, they can't. There's that damn Master Agreement in the way. Any new US or Canadian plants are automatically UAW/CAW, even if they are in RTW states!

Sounds about right, but still their own damn fault, especially for allowing that damn master agreement. BTW, you got any links to more on that master agreement? I see plenty of people/articles mention it but nothing more.
I've never seen a link to it or I would have posted it multiple times now. I *have* seen a paper copy of it - it's a monster book of several hundred pages, gets bigger every negotiating session. IIRC, the UAW won't let it be posted online. Not entirely sure why.
 

smib

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Because it's total bullshit that would put into very clear words how useless they all are. Fuck them.
 

marcos_eirik

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I think the situation with the UAW and the Big 2,53 is kind of funny, they never seemed to learn.

One of the subjects I'm taking over here at Texas Tech is Operations Management. Every time the professor (has about 30 years of experience from managing operations in private companies) uses a point during the lectures of how not to do things related to production of commodities, either one of the Big 3 is mentioned, usually GM.

Today our professor gave us a little summary of why things are as bad as they currently are with the Big 3 (GM in particular) The reason for this goes back to the 70s before the oil crisis when things were going very good for them. At this point executives from the UAW and the car manufacturers sat down and made contracts regulating employment and various other areas. Doing this they have contractually (legally) bound themselves to the UAW's "services", and have thus created a powerful money-sulking and inefficient monster. As production changed and became more automated the UAW resisted these changes to keep their jobs, so cars made by the UAW require more staff as well as more working hours (average for GM is 33 hours to make a car, for Asian manufacturers in the US it's about 20 to 25 hours). This coupled with and hourly labor cost for GM with UAW workers is $75 (compared to non-unionized workers over at for instance Honda which is more like $35/hour), you'll be able to see why they are struggling. But this is just icing on the cake, as they can't, due to legal contracts get rid of the UAW-pest without going bankrupt, so they are conceptually screwed.

Then, after the class I asked him about why he always used either of the Big 3 (usually GM) in his examples of how not to do things, he replied: "Well, they have continually made so many silly decisions over the past 20 or so years, so it's incredibly easy to pick on them..." "...Most of these bad decisions were down to ignorance, sitting on their corporate butts and ignoring changes in the market, and GM has usually been the worst at this."
 
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thedguy

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I would love to get some transcripts of that mans lectures, or audio of them. Especially if he has knowledge on these contracts they seemingly decided to make back in the 70's. I thought all the contracts they made that are screwing them now came about way back before the 60's
 

GRtak

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Is it ok for the supposed leader (CEO Wagoneer, etc) to drive down the workers wages while waiting for his huge raise? Is it wrong for employees of a multi-billion dollar company to want a decent wage? I have my own problems with unions and how they over protect bad employees, but they have done far more good than you could ever imagine. I think GM has made most of it's own problems. Many of those were to focus on making SUVs while killing off cars like the Caprice, Impala, Roadmaster(96), Camaro, Firebird, TA(02), and making other decent cars rotting rattle-traps through "cost-cutting" measures. These made for quick and easy profits without looking to the future and the changes that would come. So once again the line worker has to pay the price for these screw-ups while the upper management still get a nice fat paycheck. It is easy to throw stones when you don't understand the whole picture. I guess that I see a more complete picture of this because I live in GM central (near Flint Michigan/ former GM headquaters). There is blame on both sides of this, but the vast majority lies with upper management and thier short-term profit strategies.
 

thedguy

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Is it ok for the supposed leader (CEO Wagoneer, etc) to drive down the workers wages while waiting for his huge raise? Is it wrong for employees of a multi-billion dollar company to want a decent wage? I have my own problems with unions and how they over protect bad employees, but they have done far more good than you could ever imagine. I think GM has made most of it's own problems. Many of those were to focus on making SUVs while killing off cars like the Caprice, Impala, Roadmaster(96), Camaro, Firebird, TA(02), and making other decent cars rotting rattle-traps through "cost-cutting" measures. These made for quick and easy profits without looking to the future and the changes that would come. So once again the line worker has to pay the price for these screw-ups while the upper management still get a nice fat paycheck. It is easy to throw stones when you don't understand the whole picture. I guess that I see a more complete picture of this because I live in GM central (near Flint Michigan/ former GM headquaters).
It's the insistence that a high school drop out who has no desire to further his education or skill set that demands to make more than the engineers who spent years in school (much of which involved being picked on by said dropouts) that gets on my nerves.

The GM execs accepted a large pay cut for quite a while (though still making ridiculous amounts of money) to help the financial situation at GM, the UAW went on strike demanding more money.

There is blame on both sides of this, but the vast majority lies with upper management and thier short-term profit strategies.
I agree 100%, the UAW guys could have also done a better job of bolting together the cars so we wouldn't be insulted for piss poor build quality.
 

Spectre

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Is it ok for the supposed leader (CEO Wagoneer, etc) to drive down the workers wages while waiting for his huge raise? Is it wrong for employees of a multi-billion dollar company to want a decent wage? I have my own problems with unions and how they over protect bad employees, but they have done far more good than you could ever imagine. I think GM has made most of it's own problems. Many of those were to focus on making SUVs while killing off cars like the Caprice, Impala, Roadmaster(96), Camaro, Firebird, TA(02), and making other decent cars rotting rattle-traps through "cost-cutting" measures. These made for quick and easy profits without looking to the future and the changes that would come. So once again the line worker has to pay the price for these screw-ups while the upper management still get a nice fat paycheck. It is easy to throw stones when you don't understand the whole picture. I guess that I see a more complete picture of this because I live in GM central (near Flint Michigan/ former GM headquaters). There is blame on both sides of this, but the vast majority lies with upper management and thier short-term profit strategies.
A more complete view? Erm, not so much. Michigan has entirely too much societal pressure to buy domestic no matter what pile of crap they're selling. So much so, I see people there put down imports without ever having really seen them and how good they really are.

The unions have not does any good since the 50s. In fact, some unions tried to sabotage the war effort in WW2.



What *possible* justification do you have for the UAW's forcing the continued employment of people who weld beer cans and trash inside body panels, deliberately sabotage wiring harnesses, and leaving trash and body fluids (all documented) inside cars? For forcing the continued employment at full wage of people who just sit around and play cards all day? Who do things like, oh, leave critical bolts out of steering columns and forget to put oil rings in engines? While at the same time billing themselves as craftsmen and demanding MORE money than a MEDICAL DOCTOR gets????? How, exactly, is the "skill" involved in operating a lug-nut-bolting machine more valuable than being able to cure the sick and treat disease????

If the UAW had actually provided craftsmanship equal to their exorbitant wages, there wouldn't be such anger among potential buyers - but there is. Yes, management made stupid decisions, (and some really truly totally stupid ones) but the perennial lack of quality and continued extortion demands of the UAW continue to drag down the US car industry.
 
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