Skip to comments.As expected, 480 Lincoln Goodyear jobs headed south
Posted on 10/19/2002 1:29:09 PM PDT by Willie Green
For education and discussion only. Not for commercial use.
Goodyear's announcement Friday that it would build an automotive hose manufacturing plant in Mexico sent disappointment, though not shock, through the company's work force and Lincoln.
The new plant, expected to open next year, represents the next step in Goodyear's plan to shut down its hose production operation in Lincoln, which will cost more than 480 of its 1,430 jobs locally.
Lincoln plant manager Todd Turner characterized the announcement as moving forward on plans the company announced in January.
He said the decision was cemented earlier this month, when members of United Steelworkers Local 286 rejected contract changes that would have frozenwages and saved about 100 of the 480 jobs.
"We attempted to do something jointly to save at least part of the hose production in Lincoln," Turner said Friday. The proposal sank, 615 votes to 177.
For belt builder Paul Earnest, a 15-year Goodyear employee, the announcement was the dropping of another shoe.
"It's been one of their negotiation scare tactics for years," Earnest said. "I guess a lot of folks just got callous to it."
Steelworkers vice president John Shotkoski said he also saw the announcement coming.
"This is nothing they didn't start in January," Shotkoski said. "If I thought they weren't going to do this, I'd be lying."
He said the union will concentrate on belt manufacturing, which will remain in Lincoln. Shotkoski was comforted that the majority of the jobs will stay in Lincoln until the new plant in Delicias opens in mid-2003. Delicias is in Chihuahua state and is about 60 miles southeast of the city of Chihuahua.
"I would hope that with attrition within that year's time, and with the expansion of belt production, we can keep everybody who has some seniority," Shotkoski said.
Belt cutter and father of two Tom Day wasn't surprised to hear the news either.
"It might be my job, since I only got seven years in," he said.
Day is likely to be bumped from his job, because many hose workers have more seniority. Still, he said, he's glad the union voted against the proposal presented Oct 6.
"If we would've took the deal, they still would've moved the hose," Day said. "All they care about is money."
Turner said some layoffs would take place before the Mexican plant opens; those jobs will be moved to other North American plants.
Turner said laid-off union employees could have opportunities to move to any of eight other domestic plants covered by the company's national agreement with the Steelworkers -- if those plants are hiring. He said nonunion supervisors will be extended the opportunity to move on an individual basis.
"There certainly would be no guarantees for anybody," Turner said.
Turner said the new plant will have the latest technology, equipment and processes, and will be more efficient than Lincoln.
Shotkoski blamed the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, which eliminated trade barriers between the United States, Canada and Mexico, for the loss of the jobs.
He also called Goodyear management hypocritical for accepting tax benefits under LB775, a state economic development program.
"The corporate world is at it again," Shotkoski said. "Companies are not bashful when they ask for state or local or federal money to help them along the way, (but when they need to save money) they're no longer friendly with the community, the people or the state -- they just pack up and move."
Because the jobs are going to Mexico, Lincoln Mayor Don Wesely said, local laid-off workers will be eligible for up to $12,000 each in federal grants under legislation associated with NAFTA. The money would go toward job retraining, income support while in training and job-search assistance.
Wesely, in a press release, said he is "deeply disappointed" by Goodyear's plans to "replace long-standing Lincoln employees with low-wage workers in Mexico."
He said the city and state governments offered up to $1.5 million to help the company through difficult economic times and keep the jobs in Lincoln.
Wesely said the focus now switches to employees who'll be out of work.
"We will work with the congressional delegation to help secure ... federal assistance available under NAFTA," the mayor said.
Goodyear is the second Lincoln manufacturer to move jobs to Mexico. Circuit-breaker maker Square D announced in February plans to move a product line to Tlaxcala, eliminating 125 jobs here.
Reach Rodd Cayton at 473-7107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I guess the workers don't care about money?
I don't know if a factor as great as 5 is valid, but it is true that the economic stimulus would produce additional jobs beyond the ones directly created at the new facility.
It is also true, however, that the same "ripple effect" produces more job losses than what is anounced when a plant closes.
2000~3000 new DCX jobs in Georgia is good news.
It helps offset 7000~8000 job losses in Georgia from Delta Airlines.
Sure, makeing vehicles that most people won't be able to afford...And, watching the profits head to Japan...Yea, that's the answer...
I don't know and I wouldn't dare guess.
What I HAVE noticed is that the pace of anouncements picked up significantly at the beginning of October.
I don't know you or what you know or what you can do. You have some skills and knowledge that can be brought to bear. But perhaps not the skills you are accostumed to use to make a living. I worked as an executive/engineer in the construction industry for many years. In the last few years I have offered my services as an inspector of goods being exported. The job uses my knowledge of materials and world trade. It is not what I did for years and years. It is new, different and fun.
Offering services to business and industry is the source of many home businesses. There are lots of independant contractors offering all kinds of services.
You have a computer and some skills, put them to work from your home.
My comment was not meant to be callous or critical but to offer encouragement. You can make yourself a job.... if you decide you want to.
Your question assumes no jobs. I don't forsee such a situation, just different job. To suceed in the changed world, build on existing skills and obtain new ones. There may be some work involved, but all you have to do is do it.
Quit trusting in others and believe in yourself.
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