Job losses at KBI generate fear for plant's future

Employees of Kyklos Bearing International — the former New Departure/Delphi bearing factory — are afraid for the future of the plant.
Melissa Topey
Mar 13, 2013

Karen Balconi Ghezzi, director of the Erie County Job and Family Services, said KBI laid off 36 employees since late last month.  

"They say the layoffs are indefinite and are the result of a reduction of the workload," Ghezzi said.

Get the ePaper on Thursday or buy a copy of the Register at a newsstand near you to learn more about the anxiety workers have concerning the plant's future.

A seven-year employee of KBI said he was one of the layoffs and he anticipates more are coming.

It is possible anyone hired from 2006 or after, about 120 people, will soon be out of a job, he said.

“Since 2008 we have lost 175 production jobs and 10 skilled trade jobs, all in four years,” another employee said. “Growing up I used to hear people say if the New Departure plant closed we (the community) were done. I am afraid that time may be here.”



Sad, sad news. The union is working as hard as possible, where are the Erie County officers ? They should show support for this union.

Phil Packer

Maybe if skilled trades had taken a pay cut earlier, or, if they weren't competing against Chinese bearing manufacturers...

Phil Packer

EPA regulations make them non-competitive also.


You do realize that skilled trades keeps those machines running don't you? I don't get why people want to blame the skilled trades for making the money they do, most have had schooling or done an apprenticeship to make the money they do, just like doctors work on people, skilled trades work on machines. I sure don't want any Joe Blow off the street diagnosing me.


With Obamacare we might need the millwrights medical diagnostic service!!!


The last time I checked, mainly the machine setup guys keep the machines running, skilled trades works with them to assist in certain repairs. And most of the times, those arent done right. So if you like your doctor not doing your surgery right, by all means. Please have a skilled trades guy sit and play some more cards.

The Big Dog's back


Put America 1st

Phil Pack it harder you can always go back to school and get your journeyman's card instead of making worker vs worker issue.

Phil Packer

And get a job where? China?


Why would they support the root cause of the problem??


How can this be, Obama keeps saying how things are improving?? The union can't do anything, just ask the people that worked for Hostess.


There's only so much money the unions can suck out of these company's before they lock the doors. You'd think they would have got a clue by now.


Actually, in the case of Hostess, the union (the Bakers Union) DID do something: It refused to accept anything less than it was demanding and, as a result, drove the company into bankruptcy. Here's hoping the new owners don't hire any of THOSE greedy idiots to make the Twinkies that are supposed to be back on store shelves soon.

As for things improving according to Obama, I'm going to assume you were being sarcastic when you wrote that part, too...

The Big Dog's back

Once again sam you don't have a clue about what you are talking about.


Not Obama's fault. Unemployment is down for the country as a whole, and continues to drop. Meanwhile, it isn't dropping in Ohio. That would seem to indicate that the problem might be Kasich, but that would be an equally stupid comment...

Now The Rest of...

Ohio's unemployment 7%, national 7.9% under the messiah, sorry facts again got you.


Do you have a source for your statistics or are you quoting coasterfan ??


Sad indeed.


I'm not sure this company ever recovered from the skills drained when they encouraged their long term employees to retire in 2006.


Its me, are you saying that non union plants dont layoff and close down? Its hard to feel for the[poor company] KBI, as the workers will not be paying taxes in our area. Its me, please open your heart, these are fellow citizens losing an income. Dont be so heartless.


Yeah, the wage and benefit package has been greatly reduced for the employees at KBI.

Any job losses at any employer hurt the entire area.

Truth or Fiction

It was my understanding that when KBI purchased New Departure from Delphi they doubled their employment going from 900 employees worldwide to 1,800. General Motors sweatened the deal by providing guaranteed invoices for purchases over a number of years while also subsidizing hourly workers pay at the plant. Those guarantees and subsidies are now coming to an end requiring that KBI be competitive in a global commodity market. With limited capital, lack of a labor agreement, and increasing costs, it may be a case of the guppy swallowing the whale. I hope I am wrong and it is my sincere wish that no one loses their job.


It's a damn shame what has happened to our city! Look back just 30 years and compare it to today. Several foundries gone. Paper mills gone. Wax paper plant gone! Corrugated box plant gone! Ford plant downsized and on life support. Same for New Dept, Crysler, and Union Chain. Packing plants gone or downsized. It is sad commentary and the blame should be placed on our politicians in Washington! Yet we keep sending the same old same old back for another term. What?


Kaptur has been the Rep for this area going on 30 years. Coincidence? Not likely.

Talkings hit

Joe the Plumber would have saved KBI

Professor Playdoh

The plant is going to die because of bone headed decisions made many years ago. In an attempt to save money they eliminated coolant in the lathes. Same labor costs at other plants can machine spindles and hubs in 1/2 the time. Same machines, same forgings, same tooling. It's that simple folks.. It ain't the unions.. Technology is, or was the answer...


What wage is the "proper" wage for you people? You always have something negative to say about unions. What should we all live on~ less than minimum wage? Did you? I bet not!


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Off-topic comments.

Put America 1st

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Off-topic comments.

swiss cheese kat

Like everything else in life,the day of the union is done. The unions take a hit when the economy is bad. I guess most of you will blame Bush, but unions were flourishing under Bush.

Union people in this country have been fooled into the idea that we can ship jobs overseas and still remain vital. Its not to late to join the Occupy movement.