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.”





I'm interested in learning more about this odor.

Talkings hit

It's a phenomenon only witnesses by those who's heads aren't planted in their rectums, which is rare in this area.


2006 the union had secured work up to 2014/2015, it was the job of the following committees to secure the future there after.
Unions will continue to be needed under certain circumstances, however they have to part with their sacred pigs. They hold far too many skilled trades and indirect labor to be worldwide competitive. The company has far too many salaried employees as well. They both have to sit at the table and agree to equal of sacrifices if they want to continue to operate. Members of the union have to bite the bullet and accept lower wages and do more with less as so does the company. It will be a blood bath for both sides, but at least there will be a future for those who survive and those who are willing to make change.
As for NAFTA..Bush Sr introduced it, Clinton signed it, GW wasnt smart enough to pull out of the agreement and here we are..Obama lied to the people about how he was going to make change and tax corporations that moved product overseas and sell them back to the USA.


You'll never get a politician to tax corporations who move jobs overseas. All of them, regardless of party affiliation are in bed with these corporations. Why do you think a politician can enter congress a pauper and come out a multimillionaire?

Professor Playdoh

hey there Looking Around.. Take a look at AAM Gee I think it's part of American Axle and are currently expanding the plant. It's in Minerva, Ohio.. it's a UAW plant. They produce..Spindles and Hubs!!!!! you won't find a 40 year old machine on their floor.

looking around

They started with five plants that the obtained in a deal with GM expanding in Buffalo NY with a brand new machining plant in Ceektowaga a Buffalo suburb. All in Buffalo inclusive of the newest facility as well a plant in Detroit have closed. Two plants were knocked down and no longer exist. As for colfor don't think for a moment that just because they made some investments they won't close that either. Things are not soo rosey there either. The forge in Tonowanda NY moved their newest machinery to colfor before closing.

Professor Playdoh

You have to admit that AAM, at least at Colfor, is competing " in a world market" and doing a good job. I will admit that if China ever gets their quality issues under control, we'll all be asking if you want fries with that order. My point in this discussion is ...There are many more factors than blame the Union workers. if you can produce maybe 50% more, wages mean a lot less.


This is really going very, very, deep and most of you will think I'm completely off My rocker but NAFTA originated under Maximillan in the 1860's. After Santa Anna had been defeated we had somewhat good realations with Mexico and were even able to negotiate the Gadsden Purchase in the 1850's.
If congress and the senate, present and retired, had their wages and benefits cut just like the average people, you can bet they would run this country much differently.


When these things happen immediately folks want to blame the union and of course those workers who have such high salaries. Maybe things some feel would be better if we all got paid 50 cents an hour for working at places like KBI and everything would be fine. If business dropped still they would want you KBI workers to take a cut to what 40 cents an hour.

You know maybe this is management in running the plant, or sales and marketing pushing the product and a host of other things. NO its right away always those workers who get paid too much in the plant, Yea be skilled, spend a lot of money to learn your skill but heaven for bid don't ask me to pay you a fair wage for your skill.

Then they attack the government workers....plaw my streets, fill the holes in my street, lay your life on the line to protect my family, risk your life when I have a fire but for heaven sake don't ask me to pay you a fair wage for what you do. Yep that these complainers in the flesh.

I seriously would like to know where these complainers work........some non union, sweat shop I guess given their remarks all the time about high wages of others.

Mr. D

@kimo. . . We are waiting; who owns KBI?


KPS Capital Partners & George Thanopoulos

Put America 1st

HHI Holding Inc owns KBI. Instead of waiting for Kim to reply how about using google and investigate her comments further wtf

Professor Playdoh

HHI own Jernburg and a lot of other plants too. Jernburg was bankrupt when HHI bought them out. they now make money.


Must be contract time.


It's a race to the bottom as far as wages are concerned. If I was graduating from high school right now, I'd go into education or something that was related to the public sector. Private sector jobs are scarce and low paying, the best way to better yourself is get into the public sector. I saw a internship at NASA that paid 50k, I did mine for free back in the late 80's but it wasn't with NASA. Governments are in a race to devalue their currencies so they can remain competitive, and the bottom line is we will all work for less, it's the new normal.

The Big Dog's back

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Remarks that discriminate based on age, race, religion, disability, etc..


This is no surprise. The KBI CEO, George the Greek, stood before both the salaried and hourly work force in 2008 and told the Union that the only way that KBI would stay open is if the union opened the contract. He said the union didn't have to because the contract would not expire until 2013, but is they didn't the plant would close and they would all lose their jobs. The union's response was that they would rather have no jobs then work for less.. They got their wish! It is no ones fault except the union. The sad thing is all the hard working salaried people that will lose their jobs through no fault of their own. Shame on you UAW!

As you the quality of the bearings produced there.. It was terrible! The Quality Department hides this fact!


Maybe this was the source of the foul odors.

Professor Playdoh

" The sad thing is all the hard working salaried people that will lose their jobs through no fault of their own"
Your kidding right? Who made the decision to continue using 40 year old technology to compete?
Manufacturing Engineers that traveled to Chicago for the IMTS shows came back and were told to make do with what they have.
A good example would be NASCAR or INDYCAR.. Who runs faster lap times at the Brickyard?

The Big Dog's back

angrywhitedush, if the salary people actually did work hard and weren't a bunch of yes men, it still would be open.




Say what you will.. I was there and heard exactly what George T. said. If the union would have opened the contract and accepted the wage levels that would have allowed them to competivley bid they would not be closing or laying people off. The union must of not believed him or thought no jobs are better than less pay.

There are good decent hard working people in the salary ranks at KBI and I proud to have worked with many of them and still call several of them friend. They had no choice in this matter. A lot of them have already lost their jobs and benefits well ahead of the union. This is 100% the unions fault!

looking around

They knew what the wages and benefits negotiated were when they made an offer to buy the company, if they felt they could not make it that level why did they buy it???????

Professor Playdoh

"Why did they buy it?"
The rumored price was 19M... Liquidation value is maybe 3 times that if it fails.

looking around

3X19=57M you think scrap metal goes for that much? There are no start ups interested in any of the machinery they have, the building would be a white elephant on the market and probably would be knocked down to get it of the tax rolls. Who knows what the environmental clean up would cost. There are warehouses across the country full of industrial machinery bought at cents on the dollar at auction, they all are saying it isn't moving.

Professor Playdoh

Double post

Put America 1st

This is NOTHING but a lie. The current contract is tied to subsidies let alone "Right of First refusal" allowing KBI the opportunity to bid first on GM work. Stop hiding behind your screenname - you are a bitter salary worker @ KBI that is on the chopping block and wants to blame the UAW boo hoo. Before you continue lying to the masses...How did you attend an ALL PLANT meeting and not be a KBI worker?

Hoss McGee

Funniest thing I have heard in awhile


@Angry White Dude: What is a fair wage for the hourly worker a KBI? What kind of benefits would be appropriate for them? Any? What was your salary while working there? How many hourly workers at KBI own a home,new car, go on lavish vacations? Todays hourly worker struggles. In the past, perhaps,W/ overtime, many made a really good living, not hourly employees today.