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Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 12:00 PM
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$10 an hour, 4,000 apply
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$10 an hour, 4,000 apply

Many ex-autoworkers seek work at lesser wages

Louis Aguilar / The Detroit News

STERLING HEIGHTS -- Six years ago, Fred Hibbard, 46, was making $22.50 an hour as a machinist in a tool and die shop.
Job-seekers wait for an interview with Faurecia, an auto parts supplier, that held a job fair Thursday in Sterling Heights. Some 2,000 people attended.

On Thursday, he was among some 2,000 job-seekers who lined up for a chance at a $10-an-hour assembly job with no benefits with a French auto parts supplier. The jobs include medical benefits and 401(k) options.

Faurecia SA, which has facilities in four Metro Detroit communities, drew an estimated 4,000 people, many of them former auto workers like Hibbard, over the two days of its job fair Wednesday and Thursday, a sign of the times in a state where the unemployment rate hovers at 7 percent.

The long line of job applicants Thursday snaked through a city park outside the Sterling Heights Parks and Recreation Center, the site of Faurecia's job fair. It was just around the corner from where Hibbard used to work.

"That tool and die shop is dead," he said. "And now, I could really use this job. Ten dollars an hour is a lot better than living on your 401(k)."

Out of 17 job applicants queried by The News on Thursday, eight of them once had auto factory jobs that offered higher hourly wages and health benefits; 14 currently have jobs that pay less than $10 an hour; 11 have children; and only two have health insurance.

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