Janesville worker expresses himself

Register
Oct 24, 2013

We have to tip our hats to Kevin Fenwick, an 18-year employee at Janesville Acoustics, an auto industry supplier in Norwalk that plans to close by year's end and move operations out of state. Fenwick, and some other employees are staying on the job but wanted to send General Motors a message by wearing patch at work with the GM logo and a red circle slash around it. 

He and other soon-to-be unemployed Janesville employees believe GM put pressure on the company to pull up stakes. 

The patches were banned, but Fenwick found a way to express his frustration by parking a car on the public street in front of the factory with an even bigger "No" to GM sign on it. Factory management called police and the officer who responded quickly determined the car was parked legally and the sign wasn't a problem either. 

Fenwick's frustration with GM is understandable. About 290 workers at Janesville will be out of a job. Employees at KBI, and retirees from there and its predecessors, New Departure and Delphi, also have expressed frustration with GM, suggesting the automaker is stifling opportunities for KBI to get new work orders. 

Janesville management has asked employees to remain loyal during the transition, and we're glad Fenwick and other workers are finding a way to do that while still exercising their First Amendment rights. 

We're disappointed with GM and the decision, too, and hope for the best for every family this is impacting, but it's good these employees were able to get their message out. 

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Comments

Contango

Gotta wonder if the SR would likewise give a "tip o' the hat" to a disgruntled soon to be laid off SR employee who expressed dissatisfaction in a similar matter?

2Timothy1-7

Not likely, the Register would probably ask Baxter to have the critic incarcerated for 8 years.

2Timothy1-7

sorry, double post

Truth or Dare

Asked to remain loyal during the transition? I believe GM broke that loyalty bond. Any word yet from any loyal State reps. regarding this? Anyone given an option to relocate?

gene44870

Janesville management has asked employees to remain loyal during the transition, and we're glad Fenwick and other workers are finding a way to do that while still exercising their First Amendment rights.

OK now the company says we should stay loyal . Yea well I also know if you keep kicking the dog around enough , he will be loyal but only out of fear and only till you turn your head . And the company does in no way deserve the workers support . I mean come on Janesville what are yea thinking ,? what as employees we are just suppose to agree with every decision you make , and egnore that desision even when it places me as well as a few hundred of my co-workers on the unemployment line ? THINK AGAIN

mikesee

Sorry to hear about the workers and their job loss.

I hope Obama gives GM another $60+ billion so they can move more of their jobs overseas and to lower wage paying states.

SamAdams

Why are operations being moved out of state? Answer THAT question, and you have the first step needed to keep industry in Ohio and to bring industry back to the state.

It doesn't take much effort to guess that the move due to financial considerations. If everything is moving to Mexico where labor is cheap and regulations are few, there's not a lot that can be done (and you can think Clinton for NAFTA). But if everything is moving to Wyoming or Texas (for example), why would that be the case? One potential reason involves the tax structure in the state of Ohio. Granted, we're not New York or California, but Ohio isn't all that business-friendly in comparison with many other states! And don't even get me STARTED on unions...!

looking around

@ SAM (and you can think Clinton for NAFTA) I think you meant thank....however it is obvious you have not looked at the history of NAFTA and the implementation there of. First labor unions were very much against NAFTA and lobbied against it. George Bush Sr. was one of the founding fathers of this legislation which was supported bipartisan by politicians who probably felt it would help further their own political goals. President Clinton was fresh in office when it landed on his desk and when it came time to sign it during all the pomp and pageantry, he first handed the pen to George Bush Sr. who then with a big smile on his face stepped forward to be the first to lay his signature to his baby.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nor...

http://millercenter.org/presiden...

As to "And don't even get started on Unions" just what is your problem with unions? What have you done to make a living, and have you ever been a union member? Just curious.....

mikesee

Not saying that you are right or wrong but wikipedia is a very unreliable source.

looking around

You got two choices, I posted two links on the same subject matter.....what I'm saying is don't be quick to point fingers, politicians of all party's influenced this over quite a few years and administrations.

grumpy

" President Clinton was fresh in office when it landed on his desk and when it came time to sign it during all the pomp and pageantry, he first handed the pen to George Bush Sr. who then with a big smile on his face stepped forward to be the first to lay his signature to his baby."

Quote from the wiki you linked to:
"With much consideration and emotional discussion, the House of Representatives approved NAFTA on November 17, 1993, 234-200. The agreement's supporters included 132 Republicans and 102 Democrats. NAFTA passed the Senate 61-38. Senate supporters were 34 Republicans and 27 Democrats. Clinton signed it into law on December 8, 1993; it went into effect on January 1, 1994.[3][4] Clinton, while signing the NAFTA bill, stated that "NAFTA means jobs. American jobs, and good-paying American jobs. If I didn't believe that, I wouldn't support this agreement."[5]

11 months after the House was installed in office, a Democrat majority in the House passed the bill and a democrat majority was also in the Senate when it passed for the same amount of time. Clinton signed it just short of 11 months after being sworn into office. That was quite a while after the "Pomp and Pageantry of the inauguration. The Congress had nearly a year after bush sr left office to do what they wanted with the bill as they had majorities in both houses of congress. Clinton had nearly a year to get over the election. You might have had a point if it had landed on his desk the 1st month, maybe even the second, by the third he should have been over it, by the fourth he should have had things preety well down about how the office was run, by the fifth month he should have had his own stuff started through the pipeline, by the sixth his wife had started on the doomed Hilarycare, by the seventh month, he was probably was looking over the interns for which ones were looking good, I could go on but it will only go downhill from there. If it took him that long to get over the inauguration, it is no wonder he lost both the House and Senate majorities in 94.

It has been bush's fault for decades... even before Obama was out of law school.

looking around

This event 11 months after being sworn in had nothing to do with the pomp and pageantry of the inauguration. It had it's own surrounding the signing of the bill, he shared the moment with the then ex-president. I suspect that the actual papers were signed in a different manner than what was done for the media and press. I saw actual footage some years back and was surprised when President Clinton turned to President George Bush and offered him the pen. So, who do I believe, you or my lying eye's ;)

grumpy

I don't get what the pomp and crap have to do with what is in the law that the congress passed and Clinton signed? What difference did the pageantry make in the law? I could care less who was at the signing ceremony and am curious what difference you think it made? The bill was already passed and Clinton had already said he would sign it... hell he pushed the bill through congress. What earthly difference does the ceremony make? What difference does it make that bush sr pushed the bill, before clinton pushed the bill for 11 months? Clinton signed the bill into law, after both parties voted for it in congress.

If you wish to say both parties suck I would find no reason to disagree with that. But who cares about the signing ceremony?

looking around

Don't get you panties in a bunch.....if you read what I said about pointing fingers, you would have realized that's exactly what I'm saying. All party's and administrations had a share in this, I think that was the point they were making in how they portrayed the signing of of it into law. It's poor legislation that I personalty would like to see re-visited. It seems that it is you whom really cares about someone taking the blame.....read your own words GRUMPY

kURTje

Grumpy here is another fact. Sam they are moving because of greed.

Really are you ...

Supposively they are moving to be closer to their customer base. Ok so they move operations out west, here in lies the problem for upper level management. The office personnel have barely a clue how to run all of the lines and cells. How is Battle Creek running? From what I hear employee turnover rate is very high. If this plant goes out west, it will be quite a while before that or those plants become effecient. There are trade secrets that have to be done in a certain order. If for some reason things do not work the right way, it will take months worth of trial and error to get a corrective actions process in place. Where the current seasoned employee could fix the problem as soon as it happens without having to think twice or seek advice.

Best of luck to the upper level Janesville management. You could be looking for a job also after this move does not work out.

You can not replace years of knowledge in one day.

looking around

@ Really are you.... you are so right my friend, This I see as a major problem being created by the dismantlement of industry both staying domestically as well as leaving our borders. Soon we will be a nation of consumers who have no means of producing any kind of products other than hamburgers. The problems created from a quality standpoint will have consumers pointing fingers and saying they can get better and cheaper products imported from elsewhere. They are giving away our industrial base and knowledge.

Really are you ...

In meetings prior to this article it was phasing out to a total closing December 2014. Is this article a quick edit with one possible error?

"an auto industry supplier in Norwalk that plans to close by years end...". It is not 2014 yet.

Really are you ...

Here is a thought. Build a warehouse out west. Not everything made at the Norwalk plant will go out west. Fill that warehouse with "janesville's" customers products. As the customer needs their product, send and replace. Norwalk keeps jobs. Janesville keeps knowledge and quality. The only losses Janesville will sustain would be logistics, warehouse workers, utilities, and warehouse rent. Rent unless they buy the building, but why buy, as they have been renting the Norwalk buildings.

Stop It

"The only losses Janesville will sustain would be logistics, warehouse workers, utilities, and warehouse rent."

That's quite a chunk of overhead.

Really are you ...

A small price to pay for all of the inexperienced workers that will be out west. A small price to pay for all of the missed delivery charges when things do not run right. A small price to pay for all of the probable employee turnover. A small price to pay for delivery of junk material to the customer. A small price to pay for all of the employees out there who get there hands and arms burnt on that hot material. A small price to pay for the first couple of years to make that place floor worker effecient. Supervisors can only supervise so much before they reach wits end. Quite a chunk of overhead. Really! All because Janesville can not afford Work In Process. You don't know what you got till it's gone.

Stop It

I helped build and install most of those presses that have Dave Price/Fabriweld written on them. I don't want to see them go somewhere else, but the fact remains, GM got bailed and they are calling the shots. Overhead is the expense they are willing to train for. The labor will be cheaper or greasing some politician's hands.

Follow the money.