My dad told me this weekend that some of his parts suppliers and buyers are shutting down their operations in Mexico and moving back to the States and into Canada.
Okay, I’ll bite, “why Dad?”
“Because of bribes. The suppliers and buyers have told me that they’re tired of trying to get things done when you have to bribe everyone to get it done. And if you don’t bribe all the right people, the workers don’t show up to produce anything at all.”
My dad works in the steel industry and supplies the kind of equipment used in major manufacturing and construction. One of his supplier is planning a move to Canada soon and another into South Carolina if they get the land they want. So, when I read about the GM closure, I wasn’t too surprised to see a Mexican plant listed in a CNN report
The plants to be closed include two U.S. facilities - Moraine, Ohio and Janesville, Wis. - along with plants in Oshawa, Ontario and Toluca, Mexico.
The Moraine Ohio plant makes SUVs:
The Moraine plant employs about 2,500 workers and produces the GMC Envoy, Chevrolet Trailblazer, Saab 9-7X and Isuzu Ascender.
The plant has been cut from 4100 employees in 2006 to only 2500 now and those employees are now left to find new jobs or move out of the Dayton area.
The plants at Moraine and Janesville are the most vulnerable, according to some industry analysts.
Greg Gardner, an analyst with the Oliver Wyman Group, said both plants are a distance from parts suppliers. Plants in Texas and Mexico can easily satisfy demand for big SUVs, while GM may stop building mid-size SUVs in a few years, Gardner said.
IUE-CWA local 798 represents workers in the Moraine plant and had this to say to GM:
The workers at Moraine assembly have a long history of progressive contracts that have led to this plant being named the most productive in the country. Through unprecedented work rule flexibility and an unmatched commitment to quality, the workers at Truck and Bus have consistently delivered a profitable product.
We understand that outside forces, particularly high fuel and health care costs, are negatively impacting the auto industry. But to break the covenant with these workers is unconscionable. GM should recognize the loyalty and skill of the Moraine workers with a new product placement. GM could reward the community's long-time support by working to rebuild the plant's future, not abandoning an already hard-struck area. I hope that GM is not out of fresh ideas and new products. They owe Moraine workers and the community.
IUE-CWA will work as hard as possible and reach out to all potential allies to try to save this plant. If GM still wants to make an excellent product at a profit in the United States, we can do it in Moraine. On a parallel path, however, we will fight equally as hard to ensure that our members and retirees get all they deserve and all they have earned after years of working for GM."
After having been laid off since March and only having returned to work a few weeks ago, this latest announcement from GM really does just say screw you to their workers. I wonder if Oshawa, Janesville and Toluca are just as pissed by this news and feeling just as screwed. If I were a betting girl, I’d bet the answer is yes.