VIDEO: Between the Lines, the KBI edition

Matt Westerhold
Aug 29, 2013

New Departure, now KBI, retirees Sam Artino, Jim Harrington and Lynn Sartor joined us on the program to talk about the past, present and future of the factory in Perkins Township.

Watch the program in the player below

Watch live streaming video from registermedia at livestream.com

Comments

KnuckleDragger

If this plant closes, myself and my family have bought our last GM vehicle. 3 generations of my family have worked and made a good living at that plant.

Perkins2060

Same here. I will never support GM again. We bail them out and they send American jobs overseas.

Perkins2060

I don't want my family riding around in a vehicle with inferior wheel bearings!

gene44870

Yea we should have seen this coming . G.M has lied to the workers when it was new departure , And when the workers walked out on strike back when G.M AGREED NOT TO SELL THE PLANT AS LONG AS IT SHOWED A PROFIT .Well guess what ? they sold a profitable plant to Delphi and then to K.B.I I really believe if G.M would not have sold that plant it would be better off then it is now

tk

@KnuckleDragger " 3 generations of my family have worked and made a good living at that plant." In that case you should be thankful, not vindictive.

There you go again

Couldn't have said it any better!

looking around

TK I don't think you understand the frustration, of course everyone who was gainfully employed at these plants past and present were thankful to have a job that they were able to provide for their family's and support the communities they have lived in for as many as three generations. They have made many sacrifices over decades of negotiations with a company that has done nothing but turn their back on a nation and thousands of employees past and present. Have you seen the price of autos decrease proportionally to the decrease in wages and cost cutting reduction in benefits and pension programs? Many of these workers from generations past honed their skills building products used to defend our nation in war. Would you have wanted inferior components on the vehicles utilized by our soldiers? After the war when soldiers returned to their home and family they continued to work in these plants manufacturing peace time products such as automobiles and "commerce" thrived creating the strongest and richest nation in the world. Skilled labor was developed over time as was technology second to none! Yes generations of family were provided with employment and "commerce" continued to grow as did our local community and nation.

As manufacturing continues to erode in our country so to the skills needed to manufacture these products. In direct relationship "commerce" also erodes, so goes our community and nation.

With continued world turmoil such as the recent Syrian dilemma, one has to wonder what will happen if we as a world power must once again defend ourselves if we will have a manufacturing base that could if needed support or troops and advanced technological strategic needs?

At one time the manufacture of machinery needed to support these entities such as the automotive sector was huge in this country and we led the world in technology building the finest manufacturing equipment in the world. Now you can't buy quality equipment in the U.S. We rely on other country's to provide machining centers and dedicated equipment. Small and Large company's who provided in part or whole this equipment have all but disappeared from our shores.

Vindictive or deeply concerned? Who is winning or losing from these business decisions?

I think it's a great slap in the face to all who have built this nation from the entrepreneur willing to take the risk, the investors willing to provide the capital to the labor that provided the skills and back and the folks who trusted and spent their hard earned money on the products manufactured. We as a nation deserve better for past, present and future generations!

tk

I understand perfectly. My husband worked at Ford. He walked picket lines and he gave up wage increases for better benefits. The last few years those benefits which were supposed to be lifetime benefits have been cut but that does not change the fact that we had a decent middleclass lifestyle.

looking around

"Had" is the key word......what did your husband do wrong that he should lose earned benefits and be blamed for the demise of an industry so poorly managed?

deertracker

You guys love big business so that's what you get.

tk

My husband retired many years ago. He is in his 80's. He worked hard as a die setter. Well or sick, he did not miss work. He did not do anything wrong. The benefits have been changed and no one said he was blamed for anything. We both learned about hard work when we were kids and that hasn't changed. We also learned to appreciate what we had/have.

looking around

With that said, aren't you as concerned as the rest of the workforce past and present related to what has happened to our country's manufacturing base and the economy as it relates to the middle class family?

tk

Of course I am. I search for products made in America by American companies where the profits stay in this country and do not go back to a foreign country. That includes automobiles.

KnuckleDragger

I'm not vindictive at all. I don't work there, but my grandparents, parents, and sister have. Just as GM doesn't care about keeping the plant open, I in turn don't care to support GM by spending my hard earned money buying their products. It is America, it's my choice, and I will choose to buy from a competitor. I will be as loyal to them as they are to their workforce. They make their choice, I make mine.

deertracker

GI Joe thinks he is "entitled" to just about everything! Enough is never enough for him and those like him.

KnuckleDragger

Glad to see you took your hands off your dong long enough to type yet another ignorant, nonsensical comment. Keep it up, you're typing yourself to irrelevance.

JudgeMeNot

Buy a Ford.

Fromthe419

Better yet, buy a Toyota Tundra, it is made in San Antonio, Texas with 85.7 percent American made products and produced with 100 percent American labor. The Big 3 have sold all of us out while moving plants to Mexico and China, while Honda and Toyota have been opening plants in the US, paying fair wages and employing us. Screw the Big 3, let them make their crap in foreign counties for pennies on the dollar and sell them their, I am done with them. If they want to take their manufacturing to China for pennies on the dollar then sell their car for 5000 dollars here.

gene44870

I have had family that worked there as well .And it was very stressfull working at the plant , cause everyone was afraid that G.M would sell the plant . and they did just what everyone feared .
The last two of my family has retired from there and are now out of there , with all the family that I have had working there would count up 100 years at that plant.

Truth or Fiction

It's time for Americans to start looking at where and how they spend their money. A Honda may be made in Ohio but the profits go to Japan. We need to start supporting American owned and American made products. I commend these gentlemen for their efforts but three, six, or even 12 are not going to succeed. That means that YOU, Joe public need to get involved. Write your Senators and Congressmen (both State and Federal). Contact others to do the same. This is not a Democrat-Republican issue. It is a community issue. Does anyone think that the loss of 800 jobs because of unfair trade practices will be good for our community, our state, and our country?