GM Plant Closure Trickles Down

By: Beth Shayne
By: Beth Shayne

The seats come from Lear Corporation in Mason, the cockpits from Delphi Corp. on Mt. Hope Hwy, and when they leave the line along with 3500 at Lansing Car Assembly, the job security of those who make them off-site leaves the line too.

"When they sneeze, we don't catch a cold. We catch pneumonia," explains UAW 724 President Dean Poggiali. He's talking about GM and their relationship to workers for a dozen auto suppliers he represents. He anticipates 250 to 350 people will lose their jobs.

"We have no area hire, we have no subpay, we don't have a jobs bank," he says. Unlike General Motors workers, suppliers' employees will only receive unemployment pay.

Wednesday, Delphi Corporation announces the closure of their Mt. Hope cockpit assembly facility. A spokesperson says they'll shut their doors around the same time LCA closes. They employ about a 100 workers, contracted through a company called Labor Source. They build cockpits only for Lansing Car Assembly cars.

Fortunately, that's not the case for every part on the line. Poggiali says steel preparation company RSDC in Holt, warehouse/trucking company Tec-mar, and the Lear Corporation in Mason will be hardest hit, in addition to Delphi's closing.

"The only think we can hope is that new suppliers come in and they want trained, skilled workers," Poggiali says.

Lansing Chamber of Commerce President Bill Sepic says they are courting suppliers for the Delta Township Plant. He's optimistic there will be jobs soon.

Poggiali says there are no arrangements with new suppliers.


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