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 Big Dog's back

I'd explain to you but I would be wasting my time on a right wingnut mind. Why do I say this? Because if you were truly interested in how Gov's worked you would have researched it already instead of spewing right wing talking points. Have a nice life.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

This is the exact reason and answer that explains why the younger generation has a dwindling respect for the older, especially in positions of power. Constantly we are told to just shut up and be relegated to obscurity while supposedly knowledgeable people do all the scheming and none of the explaining. Despite your opinion about my quantity and flavor of nuttiness, you will find I am extremely open-minded and probably support ideals that make what you accuse me of being cringe.

Stop It

^^YES!!^^TO HZ!!

shucks

Sham Adams I gave you link.

KURTje

Ronnie Raygun was like Hitler. Both ruled by the zodiac. Raygun's seer was Joan Quimbly. Both hated Unions too. Both were loved by ultra -right wing groups.

Stop It

*waving goodbye*....C-ya U.A.W.

my oh my

Will be the best thing to happen.Let the plant close.The American unions have out priced and caused industry to outsource itself anyhow..

The Big Dog's back

What about all the non union companies that outsourced and closed. Who's fault was that?

JudgeMeNot

Yours and the rest of the low info voters like you. Why do you care? You got your free phone.

JudgeMeNot

What the bailout actually saved was the UAW’s heavily padded compensation packages. Low info voters wont admit it, but its true. The UAW is a thing of the past and should be relegated to the dust bin.

The Big Dog's back

So faux news convinced you that you were smart?

grumpy

What is hurting the UAW now, and probably will more in the future is the two tiered payscale at GM and Chrysler, where the old GM employees are getting nearly twice the wages that the new employees doing the same thing are getting, then there is the problem of owning most of GM and Fiat US... er Chrysler/jeep.

KURTje

That's okay grump. Your relative you talked about is fine because of a Union.

The Big Dog's back

kurt layeth the smackdown on pooh.

grumpy

i worked as a union member for 36 years so I don't have to take my son's experience for it. The union I was in you could be fired or laid off for not being able to run the machine you were called out for, were slow, were late, almost any dman thing. What the union did FOR the members was collectively bargain for wages and benefits, but the individual could also negotiate a bonus if s/he was good at what we did. Anywhere from 5% up, most I got was 15%. The union also did the insurance, pension, apprenticeship, certification, continuing education, make sure other trades weren't doing our work, and so forth. The union COULDN'T take our dues for ANY political donation or political reason. If the individual wanted to donate and have it bundled they HAD to write a separate check. That union changed with the times and did what the membership wanted, They evolved with the times and haven't stayed in the 1920's or 1930's mindset where everything management did was bad. Few unions I have worked around, other than some trades, have evolved, most stay locked in the 30's, like the UAW. I have seen how they work in both Chrysler and ford auto plants over the years when remodeling or adding on. Typical old school thinking.

Thanks for playing. I have written this out several times already.

The Big Dog's back

Same old koch brother rhetoric.

The Big Dog's back

Time to stop writing it out. Were you an International Rep? No. You don't know a dman thing what went on in other plants.

grumpy

Nope I wasn't a rep, I was/am a journeyman/member. I know many things that went on at other plants. I worked in more than a few auto plants over the years, since I was in construction and remodeled and added onto them... including the jeep plant in Toledo, the expansion there last year was the last job I did before retiring. I also did a lot of work at BP refinery in Oregon and the sun refinery in Northwood. As stated earlier I was in building trades.

The Big Dog's back

What about the Jeep plant in Toledo smart a .

Donegan

You can tell you are hitting close to the mark, Dog is frothing at the mouth and is troll responding. One after another lol!

grumpy

It is fun rubbing piddle puppies nose in the shitsky he knows so well.

2cents

That was a nice read about the growth and changing of the union you worked for. We read hear mostly the one sided points, for and against.

A friend of mine owned a company that had two unions, one of them had guys doing complex and skilled things and were paid more, the other drove trucks and other associated jobs. They struck because they wanted the same pay as the skilled guys. My friend waited them out and eliminated both unions, he was not against unions, just the greed that he would not allow!

grumpy

I didn't work for the union, the union worked for the members. That is ONE of the differences in a union that has kept up and changed with the times, instead of staying in the mindset of the 30's. The building trades have evolved over the years and manufacturing has changed little as far as many of the jobs on the assembly line goes.

shucks

@Donegan

You're a troll

EZOB

We need a blog for all those Democratic voters in Detroit. I'd like to ask them, how's things working out for you fellows?

EZOB

I forgot to mention that we can ask right here. All you former salaried employees of GM, do you want to help these guys out?

red white and blue

Grumpy thinking that way is why we r where we are at.this country has lost its pride and morrals instead of standing together its every man and women for them selfs.its a shame I commend kbi employes taking a cut in pay to help keep jobs here.as far as a union goes without it we will all be making 5 dollars an hour.don't forget its the union man that's buying those new cars sending there kids to school.unless u know some one that works at burger king that's manged to do y his

grumpy

Why stay with something that hasn't changed and evolved since the 30's? Nothing stays the same for 80 years without changing with the times. I did/do what is/was best for my family. They are my first concern in what I do. If you wish to be concerned about your union first that is your decision. I paid my union dues, kept up with new developments in my trade, worked for what I was paid. If you and others wish to be in a union that hasn't changed in the last 80 years that is fine with me. Another thing you could try is to update your union into the 21st century, that would be best. Trying to hold back needed changes usually fail in the long run.

I have yet to see a manufacturing union stop a company from having a plant move to a different state or country. Wages are only part of the reason companies move. Better than half of my work has been updating plants, expanding them, and building some new ones. The old run down ones won't/don't stay competitive, no matter how much they cut wages. New, remodeled, expanded plants with new equipment are more effiecent than older ones. Then there is gov't and the hoops that has to be jumped through. If they can go somewhere where the cost to do business, that is also part of it. I am sure there are more reasons that make up what a company looks at when deciding about a location. It isn't just whether or not a union is there, that is one part of what is looked at. If many of the workers have a poor attitude towards management that is also part of what they look into.

The Big Dog's back

aye whole, which unions are still the same as they were 80 years ago? Be specific with examples, not conjecture.

KURTje

Thanks for my government $$ grumpy. Don't stop paying.

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