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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:04 AM
Original message
Chrysler workers, public upset over plans to shutter local site
Source: Kenosha News

The potential closing of the Kenosha Engine Plant raised anger, disappointment and some hope from plant employees and those concerned about the plant.

The Kenosha Engine Plant is one of eight Chrysler plants scheduled to close by the end of 2010, as indicated in the company’s bankruptcy filing. All Chrysler plants are scheduled to close as of Monday through the end of bankruptcy proceedings, which is expected to last between four and six weeks.

Robert Earl, who has worked at the plant since August 1978, said there was some surprise to the timing of Friday’s announcement, but not the tone.


Pam Christensen, 53, of Kenosha, whose husband William, 55, works at the plant, said she’s angry because of the sacrifices workers have made over the years. Christensen said most people she knows are shocked because the workers had just voted on the concessions to keep the company viable. Her husband had just celebrated his 30-year anniversary with the automaker.

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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
1. recommend
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blue_onyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 09:39 AM
Response to Original message
2. The communities where the 8 plants are will be hurt badly
This is why it was so insane for so many on DU to say, "Just let the US auto companies go under." If the entire companies had gone under, this pain would've been so much worse.

I know Michigan will lose 3 Chrysler plants so our 12.6% unemployment will be much higher soon.
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 09:44 AM
Response to Original message
3. My heart goes out to the workers and families.
I know it's hard and we're not at the end of the job losses, unfortunately. We're out of work too and will have to move--the sooner people get into that mindset the easier it will be for them.
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
4. It's too bad businesses aren't democratic.
Edited on Sat May-02-09 10:35 AM by Gregorian
All of the sacrifices out of the goodness of their hearts that the workers make are for naught. The companies go where the board of directors takes them. And in the case of cars, we had the opportunity to lead, and we were lazy. We continued pumping out eight cylinder monsters. It's so much like drug dependency I can hardly think of a better analogy. We could have been coming out as the leaders in what was obviously going to be a new time for the automobile. We could have made our lives smooth and easy. We could have been the world's leaders. And by "we" I mean the people who drove this mess into the ground. The ones making the big money. Oil companies, auto executives, and ultimately the people. We bought Bush just like we bought V8's. And that sounds awfully accusatory. After all, Bush lost. That's not my point. We could have stopped the attack on Iraq. We could have demanded impeachment. We could have demanded 80 mile per gallon cars.

If the workers had a say in where those companies went with their products, I can almost guarantee that they would have voted for their future. And the future was not in monster v8's. It was, and is, in efficient cars. There's 7 billion of us now, it should have been obvious that we can't all act like it's 1955. Am I wrong that the workers are essentially powerless? I may be missing something.
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izquierdista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Too bad they are run by accountants
It took designers and engineers and production workers years to build the auto companies up to their zenith. It took accountants like Roger Smith a lot less time to run them into the ground.
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blue sky at night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
5. everyone in wisconsin....
driving all those Toyota's and Honda's and Saab's and BMW's and Lexus automobiles should be happy and proud today.

If we won't buy american, then we won't have jobs up in Kenosha. I think there should be a hugh surtax on the car and especially on the tags for all of these foreign cars....and don't tell me they are "made here in america"...go tell my friend george who is going to loose his job at the Twinsburg stamping plant that and see what he tells you.

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aviationpm Donating Member (50 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I can't afford to buy American...
My family used to only buy GM products until the transmissions started failing every 40k miles, cylinder heads cracked at 80k miles, and the company refused to back it's warranties. I went to Hyundai, had every warranty claim fixed without question or hassle at the dealership, and have 125k miles on the car with no rust, and no major repairs made to it. In uncertain times, I need a car I can count on and GM destroyed any confidence I ever had in the company.
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Honeycombe8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I keep my cars for years, so reliability is critical to me. Most American cars of
the type I've looked for in my lifetime have not been reliable.

Let's see...your thinking is along the lines of: We make a product that is unreliable, but instead of fixing that problem, we should heavily tax people who buy, instead, a product that is reliable and of better quality?

I have a Subaru that is 11 1/2 years old. It has very low mileage (70K). Still, nothing has gone wrong with the engine. Ever. No fuel pump gone bad, no broken water pump, no malfunctioning carborator (if cars still have those). Nothing. Zip. Nada.

What that means is not only did I buy a high quality vehicle for a reasonable amount of money, it has ended up costing me less over the years because of the money I have not had to spend to repair it. Not to mention the hassle of repairs, or getting stranded on the highway.

It's easy. All GM has to do is manufacture small to medium sized, safe, reasonably fuel efficient, high quality (reliable) vehicles. That's what all the successful manufacturers do. They DON'T do what GM's CEO did years ago: Scoff at global warming and people who want fuel efficient vehicles, make a decision to manufacture and push 5 mpg Hummers, and decide not to compete with Honda and Toyota.

When I bought my Subaru, I looked first at American made cars. Ford, Chevrolet, Jeep, GM, Chrysler. They simply didn't make anything like the Subaru Forester. They weren't after ME as a market. They were aimed at young men who want to drag race (Mustang, Camaro, etc.) and older men who want big guzzlers to prove their manhood or that they were financially successful. So that's what they got. Unfortunately for them, that's not what drives the auto market, apparently.

Oh, and the Forester is not only decent with gas mileage, it was also one of the highest, if not the highest, in safety, for its class and size. So...why would I buy a less safe car that uses more gas, uses more money to repair, and won't last as long? I can't afford that. It'd be easier for the Hummer buyers just to buy a second Hummer to keep GM's doors open.
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Cessna Invesco Palin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. I agree. We need to tax Hugh.
That bastard.
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