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

grumpy

I am sorry that you are unable to live without assistance. I would be bitter as he11 if I had to depend on gov't.

JudgeMeNot

Yeah just like all the low infos with their free phones.

kURTje

GOTCHA grump! Its military pay. You a commie?

grumpy

Oooooh a Gotcha. My fault that I don't know what you do for a living, how terrible for me.

You have read my some of my political opinions and beliefs (since you have commented on them several times) on here. Do any of them sound like communist beliefs to you? And no I don't expect you to answer the question. You prefer to act like a troll, call names, then run and hide.

Grow up. Gotcha's and name calling was kool in jr high school, not so much in adult life.

red white and blue

Grumpy I to am in the trades union and I've seen more people stab there brothers and sisters in the back then I care to count the one thing ur forgetting is union brothers and sisters stick together thank god u are. Retired as for u kurtje if u served this GREAT NATION u dersever more my friend god bless ya

grumpy

"Grumpy I to am in the trades union and I've seen more people stab there brothers and sisters in the back then I care to count the one thing ur forgetting is union brothers and sisters stick together thank god u are. Retired"

My brothers and sisters are the ones I grew up with. In my trade we don't hold up those who can't preform the work they are paid to do. If they can do the work, they stay employed, if they can't, I don't want them representing what those in my trade do. If you wish to be represented by pi$$ poor workers that is fine by me. In the union I was/am a member of we send them back for more training at the apprenticeship, or take away their ability to be called out to run a piece of equipment till they can pass the tests to show their proficiency with that equipment. It ain't safe to work near someone who can't run it. Sorry you or your union doesn't follow these common sense things. There are things to stand for and things not to back. Just because someone is in the same union does not make them my "brother" or "sister". I don't back someone who can't do the job, that is one of the things I don't like about some of the unions. As I said above, in the union I am in we send them back for re-training. If they don't do that, they don't run that equipment till they can pass the tests.

red white and blue

And I love the commie comment lol

kURTje

Glad to talk to you since it was you how commented about my other post with Kottage Kat. (Freundenburg) imo You feel all most be your way. And it was you who felt I was taking a "handout," (Govt. pay) Clearly the bitterness in your thought process is shown. Through with you.

red white and blue

This story isn't a case of workers not being able to do there job and your right grumpy I don't want to work with someone that's not properly trained.but I do stand up for ANY AMERICAN UNION OR NOT! WHEN THERE JOBS ARE TAKEN AWAY

grumpy

As I said above, I have never seen a union stop a company move out of state or out of the country. If the company sees that they can do better somewhere else they will go there if the numbers show enough of an advantage for them. Wages and union expenses aren't the major expenses for most businesses. Shipping, regulations, and other things also come into play. What I think of the companies moving doesn't stop the company from moving, expanding, closing, or building new. Maybe you can but I would have my doubts.

I rotated between about 25 contractors over the years and never worked for less than 3 or 4 per year except when I was part of building the new Toledo Jeep plant. I worked for the same contractor for a couple years. I've been laid off, outright fired, quit and recalled by all of them and went back and worked for all but one. I had problems with most of management there, so never went back. Maybe I just don't have much of a feeling for those I work with but I just don't see how I, or any worker can influence whether a company stays or leaves. Can you tell us how it is done? Not trying to be a smart a$$ about it but I can't think of a way for that to happen. The company owners and managers would already have decided before the workers would ever know what the owners were considering. By the time you hear about it they would have already made their decision.

The Big Dog's back

If you were so good, why did you work union? Why not non union? A person with your "skills" should have made a lot more money on your own.

grumpy

I started as an apprentice, in the union after working in my families business( I had NO desire to do that for the rest of my life) since I was 9, volenteered for the military and when done with that, went from there. I would have had to move and absorb the expense of the move. I don't mind a union like the one I am/was in. It has stay current with the times. Evolved and serves the needs of the member. It doesn't donate money to politicians, over pay the BA's and/or International reps, doesn't back workers who don't hold up their end of the job, handle the things I don't want to deal with for a price I am willing to pay. I have no problem with unions that keep up with the times. I have disdain for those unions who are stuck in the 30's and don't evolve with the times to serve the members they have, spend money on politicians, overpay their "leaders", and proclaim their hatred of management. But I don't expect you to accept that. The contractors I have worked for pay what they promised, negotiated my bonuses, dealt fairly with me, and we parted on good terms. I could go back and work with them at any time, as long as I was still good at what I did.

The only way I could have made more is if I had started a company on my own. I was not willing to go into that much debt and shoulder that much responsibility. I well understand the Peter Principal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pet...

I have seen many examples of it. I may have made more money if I had gone into management... or started a company, but I made enough for me and I enjoyed my life much more than many owners, foremen, supers, or estimaters that I knew. The trick is knowing when you are good at and be content with what you have... and what you can do well... and be happy with that.

Besides I started a company that was one of my hobbies when I was 25 and bought into another company that was my hobby before I retired and do that part time (work there) and really have little of the office/paper work for that. I still have and do both (hobbies as a job). I planned what I did as much as I could.

The Big Dog's back

You should stick with talking about your union and work history and not malign other unions as being out of touch. You have no clue how unions in the manufacturing industries bent over backwards for these companies. Pay cuts, benefit cuts, work rule changes, and still that wasn't enough. This whole scenario was an orchestrated effort by business to destroy the middle class. So stop blaming unions and the workers.

grumpy

You should stick with name calling and mouthing inanities, you are good at it... having a debate... not so much.

Not blaming all unions. I disdain unions that are still locked in the mindset of the 30's. Those that have kept up with the needs of the membership I have no problem with, those that evolved over the years. Those that have stayed locked in the past, both in how the pay their "leaders", pay the politicians, hate management, refuse to change, those I disdain.

If many people didn't feel this way there would be a whole lot more folks in unions... instead of union membership falling every year for decades. As I have stated earlier, there are many reasons companies move to different states, or different countries. Regulations, transportation, compitition, workforce problems, abilities to expand all go into the mix when a company considers expanding, moving, remodeling, or shutting down.

If what you contend was true the new Jeep (now Fiat) plant in Toledo would never have been built, nor expanded. BP in Oregon would not keep remodeling and expanding. There are many things businesses consider when they make their business decisions. It ain't just ONE thing. Well maybe profitability, but that is breaking it down into it's simplest form...

If there is no middle class many of the things that the businesses make will have no market for. Jeep (Fiat) or almost any company won't be able to sell many cars, homes, kitchen appliances, funiture, carpet, aqnd whatever if their only clients are the 1% and everybody else in poverty. Is that simple enough for you to comprehend? Henry Ford paid his employes enough to buy his cars, if not he would have had no market to sell to. Do you think the rich are stupid enough not to realize these things? Companies make money in expanding markets, not contracting ones.

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