New hires not yet buoying the spirits of autoworkers
Despite new hires in the automotive industry, autoworkers are not quite ready to celebrate.
January 31st, 2011
04:24 PM ET

New hires not yet buoying the spirits of autoworkers

American automakers are modestly adding new jobs that some say signal a strengthening American manufacturing sector.

Autoworkers are not celebrating yet.

Second-generation GM autoworker Leonard Smith says the last time he checked, there were still some 6,000 workers laid off.

“The plant I’m working at now at Marion, Indiana, has 70 original hires out of 1,400 employees,” Smith said.

He said those who were not laid off have been transferred to other plants. He and many others have been transferred several times. They’re called “GM gypsies.” Smith said no one feels secure because there are still “flex employees” which are temporary workers being hired and/or rehired with thousands of union workers running out of unemployment benefits.

He says, too, that with the government bailout of GM, the union now owns 17 percent of the corporation.

“That seems like a conflict of interest to me,” he said.

Bob King, the new president of United Auto Workers, said it’s not the union that owns the shares of GM but rather the Volunteer Employee Benefit Association, a group that pays health care benefits to retired GM, Ford and Chrysler employees.

“The VEBA owns only about 10 or 13 percent now,” said King. “We sold shares during the IPO, but we still hold a significant portion.”

He also said it’s not a conflict of interest.

“We’re all in this together,” King said. “The more profitable and successful the companies are, the more secure our membership is."

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Filed under: Auto Industry • Economy • General Motors • Indiana
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. chrissy

    hey hello phillip. im hangin in but its been a rough week & may get rougher as for raven i believe i may have talked 2 her once. she strikes me as an intelligent and kind person & u know im way big on kindness & kenneth u are correct alot od temp workers.

    January 31, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. chrissy

    sorry i meant of not od just got alot on my mind i guess. and im kinda p*ssed that this is the week we gotta get a foot and a half of snow when i really need to be 300 miles north of here.

    January 31, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |

      helloo.. you live in michigan.. 🙂 if you need to borrow my flamethrower jsut let me know..

      January 31, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. chrissy

    u got a jet? lol cuz i need to be with my daughter weds and shes 300 miles north

    January 31, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Philip

    300 miles north? Did Santa Claus leave his pocket watch and yer returning it? he he...hope you find a way to be with your little girl.

    January 31, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. miss banasy

    They're not letting any of my posts thru!!!!!!!!!!!!! All day now!!!!!!!!

    I miss you too, guys; espescially my GTG.....

    January 31, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. chrissy

    i wish it was something that silly phillip unfortunately its not. shes having a brain mri cuz they think she has a brain tumor

    January 31, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy

    Omg, chrissy, I'm sorry!

    I just had a brain MRI a week ago tomorrow, and it turned out ok in the tumor department; sending warm wishes and prayers out to your daughter for the same result...hope the snow gods let you through all right so you can be with her and everything turns out ok!!!

    January 31, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Philip

    Awwww, I'm sorry chrissy. I dearly hope she is ok and that you find your way to her. Poor little gal. What is her name if you don't mind. I'd like to mention her when I hit my kness before bed. So so sorry chrissy. Please may she be ok.

    January 31, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |

    cancer really sucks.. hope everything turns out ok..

    January 31, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Philip

    banasy...and I kinda thought you were lurking...reading peoples posts. And then you appeared right on que to encourage chrissy at just the right time. Amazing. When someone you care about has these sorta troubles it kinda takes the wind outta my sail. The worlds problems quickly become hardly important. Gee this is sad for me. And you just went thru this banasy, and nobody here knew? Your inner-strength is showing. (solemn grin) /// You must be worried sick chrissy. What can I do for you? If i were there, i'd take you north myself ya know. I really would. I'm that kinda guy.

    January 31, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. chrissy

    i know u would and i really luv all u guys thank u so much all of u. and her name is andrea. banasy can u tell me why they thought u had one? im really tryin to wrap my arms around all this its just hard. she said something about her prolactin level

    February 1, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  12. Philip

    And I've thought about it and don't think you should be driving crissy. Surely you can call where she is and check on her or maybe talk to her and I'm sure you have. Maybe you should wait and see if a way opens up for you to be there. My daughter was having troubles and I drove from here to Tempe, AZ worried sick. I had no business risking my life driving in that mental state. I was so worried. There was no way I was paying very good attentionto the road. I even took a wrong turn and had to backtrack. Anyway, just a thought.

    February 1, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  13. chrissy

    she tells me all women have prolactin in their blood but premenopausal womens highest should be 26.6 and hers is 72.4

    February 1, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  14. banasy

    Aw, Phillip, you really ARE that kind of guy, aren't you? You're sweet. Let's just hope that the snow socks it to ME worse than it does HER, so she can get there!

    Lurk? Me? Nope. I ALWAYS have something to say...maybe it's just the volume of the Egptian thing that has been causing my posts not to go through; I don't know. It just frustrates me when I can't get through on a thread with only 4 posts...and it's been happening a LOT to me lately... 🙁

    But when that happens, I miss you guys soooooo much!!!

    February 1, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. chrissy

    gosh ur so smart phillip truly u are lol but this time i was smarter first (i know lst 4 everything j/k) anyway my friend was gonna take me

    February 1, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
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