Workers ask for help

New Departure, Delphi retirees band together
Melissa Topey
Aug 17, 2013

The automotive bearings plant that's been a major employer in the region for more than 60 years will close if it can't get contracts for new work. 

That's the fear for a group of retired workers and current employees at Kyklos Bearing International (KBI), the factory at Perkins and Hayes avenues formerly known as New Departure and Delphi. 

The group hopes to spread a call to action, starting with a letter to local governments seeking support to save the plant. 

"We are asking you to please become involved in trying to keep this facility viable," states the letter, which was hand-delivered to Erie County commissioners, Sandusky city commission and the Perkins Township trustee board. "Should the plant close it would be devastating to the community. These are high-paying jobs that could not be replaced. The lost revenue and added social cost to the county should motivate us all to do everything possible to keep the plant a strong and growing business.”

The group wants local governments to approve resolutions asking General Motors and other potential customers to bring new business to the plant. The group also asked local officials to contact state and federal legislators for help in saving the plant. 

Sam Artino, a Huron city commissioner and a retiree from the plant when it was known as Delphi, said the letter was also delivered to the Sandusky and Perkins school boards. More letters will be sent to lawmakers, including U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and others.

“KBI is the same plight as every other plant. It is the plight of the middle class in manufacturing,” Artino said.

KBI has about 500 hourly and 80 salaried employees, far fewer than in the plant's heyday.

Employees have fought to save the plant for years, even offering at times to take pay cuts, said Chris SimsUAW shop chairman. 

That effort comes up against unfair marketing practices, he said. One competing bearings manufacturer offered to sell GM finished product at a cost lower than it is just to buy the raw materials needed to manufacture the bearings. 

"Even if everyone worked for free, the quote would be impossible to beat," Sims said.

That company is based overseas but has a plant in South Carolina, he said.

Pricing a product below what it would cost to produce is known as dumping, he said, and it is done to unfairly undermine a competitor. 

Artino said the letter already has gotten some attention. The group has been invited to the Aug. 26 Sandusky city commission meeting. 

“Keeping these jobs is a No. 1 priority for the county, the city, the township," Sandusky city commissioner Wes Poole said. "All governments should be working together doing whatever is possible.” 

 

Shuttered manufacturers

Norwalk

CVG Mayflower
Fanny Farmer
Van Dresser's

Sandusky

Philco Radio
Thakar Aluminum 
Sandusky Cabinets
Scott Paper
Barr Rubber
American Crayon
G&C Foundry
Sandusky Plastics
Bechtel McLaughlin
Universal Clay
Lyman Boats
Hinde & Dauche
Ferrell Cheek
Esmond Dairy

Port Clinton 

Standard Products

Huron
Pillsbury (ConAgra)

Bellevue
Armstrong Air Conditioning
Progress Plastics

Fremont
Kelsey Hayes
Epco Machines

 

Comments

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Sometimes I wonder what these forums would look like if there was a "like"/karma button for comments. But overall I think it is good they don't exist for the reason you stated... People will know quality posts when they read them. I believe that it also promotes better online community interactions. I know a few pages back I was rather scathing in sarcasm with Licorice, but I have also gone on to agree with other things s/he said in a genuine way.

That scariness is there still. Today I had some plants outside the store stolen and broken. Could it be someone who I offended taking revenge? Maybe. Was it dumb kids or a drunk? Probably. But you never know. Overall it has been positive. Even though we disagree, I seriously doubt that Big Dog would ever cross that line (to use an example, not picking on you BD in fact I hope it is a compliment!).

The "worst" case so far has been Licorice indicating that a plumber's house can actually have a leaky faucet but otherwise being civil. Fair's fair and it wasn't even a big deal.

The Big Dog's back

sam, how do you "factcheck" something when there are no particulars?

SamAdams

Facts, by definition, ARE particulars.

man4451

Ah ahaha LOOK the same type people ran and still running detroit is running sandusky, and the same type people running sandusky will turn Perkins into another Little Detroit. Problem is, they don't have a clue.

Pete

Another lead for our business development team. They're going to be busy out here.

deertracker

I think some of you are missing the real issue. Businesses like this one that close have a trickle down effect. People will lose income, home, cars and other stuff and the local economy will take a hit. Crime goes up, services go down. Eventually everyone will feel the pain.

2cents

I totally agree, we just differ on how to get this country and it's people back to work, how to instill responsibility and morals in our society along with a good work ethic. This goes across all genders, races and socioeconomic peoples!

deertracker

I really don't see a big difference in most people's opinion on how to get this country back to work. However, responsibility and morals are defined differently by different people.

goofus

OMG a committed leftist has announced to the world he believes trickle down works!!!!

SamAdams

There's no such thing as a "trickle down" effect. Just ask a Reagan-bashing Democrat if you don't believe me!

grumpy

He will now come back and say you misunderstood how he means trickledown. In 5, 4, 3...

The Big Dog's back

Yep, both raygun's and companies trickle down works. The problem is they're both shitsky.

grumpy

shitsky is something you are an expert with, he gets his snout rubbed in it often.

The Big Dog's back

troll.

Yellow Snow

http://www.grants.gov/web/grants...
There's a whole lot of grant money out there, the money they confiscate and redistribute. Erie County needs to take a 2 year approach and really dig deeply to determine realistically the best fit for this funding before they go half-hazzardly into this. You'll need someone who is proven at applying for grants. Erie County can be more than just a tourist destination.

2cents

You know what is funny, my uncle formed a company and his livelihood was these grants. He produced nothing, researched everything but in the end it was just a waste of tax payers $$. He despised Ronald Regan because he shut down a lot of this waste and had o get a real job!

Contango

Re: "formed a company and his livelihood was these grants."

Central economic planning properly belongs on the trash heap of History.

The pointy heads in DC and elsewhere think that they're smarter than the pointy heads in the old Soviet Union - they ain't.

As is said: Capitalism without failure is like Christianity without Hell.

The Big Dog's back

Yep, unregulated Capitalism has worked so well the past 30 + years hasn't it. Yeah, right.

Contango

Re: "unregulated Capitalism"

Only in your ignorant thinking.

That's why there's a ton of alphabet soup agencies and departments in DC.

Have a nice day putz.

2cents

Re: "formed a company and his livelihood was these grants."

It took place during the Carter administration :0

The Big Dog's back

So.

deertracker

Who "confiscates" it and to whom does it get "redistributed"?

bigrmachine

Maybe it is time for the workers to feel the crack of the economy whip and get a taste of what it is to live in a society where competition does not give a crap about your union and what they can do for you.

You wanna keep it alive and make it happen ,first thing to do is to tear the union badge off the sign out front, and secondly stop paying dues to a union that cannot give you any solace in your future other than maybe a small pension.

Reality sucks at times ...so live with it like all the others that have lost their jobs in all those companies listed in this article.

Big R

pavedparadise

From a KBI employee

In the very recent, former Delphi employees at the KBI plant took a 40% wage reduction and work rules were relaxed to the point management can now do production work, etc.

When KBI took over the plant in 2008, the owners emphasized the point $50,000,000 a year off the top of plant profits were going back to the "Ivory Tower" executives at Delphi's Headquarters. Because of KBI's (HHI) low overhead, that dollar number would drop to $5,000,000 leaving $45,000,000 in profit. Blame the Union for potential closure when making a huge profit--hardly.

KBI filed legal action against GM in 2011 for purchasing bearings from Asia (same bearings we were contracted to make) and KBI won. Congrats to KBI for drawing a line in the sand. Generous Motors is now retaliating by not renewing future contracts and preventing KBI from seeking new business due to Generous Motors continued subsidization of employee wages (new work can not be sought until 2015 subsidization expiration).

The answer. The Local and International Union, as well as politicians, should be knocking down the door of Generous Motor's top executive's door demanding KBI can seek and engineer new business for the KBI plant beginning immediately.

Yellow Snow

Thanks for the insight.

Contango

Re: "GM in 2011 for purchasing bearings from Asia,"

Nice to know that the still partially U.S. govt. and UAW owned GM has it's country's best interests at heart huh?

"As of June 5, the government’s share was 13.7 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/20...

deertracker

13.7% doesn't control anything!

kal-el

If it was .0005% the right-wingers would say it was govt-controlled!

Country's best interest at heart? Look at all of the comments in here that would rather see KBI go under because it's a union shop. When I was a kid growing up in Perkins, most of my friends' parents had good, secure, union jobs, and most of us went to college because of it.

What, now, for the current generation? Wait staff at Cedar Point?

Those of you who claim to hate socialism are setting this country up just for that. In 25 years, my generation is going to retire with only social security. You will reply "well, they should have saved." That is not possible for many Americans and most corporations no longer pay pensions. The benefits the baby boom generation all enjoyed are lost on the current generation, mostly due to corporate greed.

What are we going to do when Gen-X retires and most of us are poor? That's right: socialism. The very thing you righties fear the most.

Contango

Re: "That's right: socialism."

The guns will be broken out LONG before that.

As was said in the old Soviet Eastern Europe:

Socialism makes everyone equal - equally poor.

Enjoy your planned Marxian dystopia.

The Big Dog's back

You're such a hypocrite. Actually a troll. You and your alter ego grumpy.

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