Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Few Holes to Fill

By now, I'm sure you've heard GM's announcement of a couple days ago that it plans to close 4 major assembly plants in the US, Canada and Mexico which produce the automakers trucks and SUV's. As a result, the HUMMER brand is being reviewed and will possibly be resold.

According to the article on, the affected 10,000 workers will potentially be able to regain employment when the expected 19,000 openings become available later this year due to retirements and buy-outs. My question here is how closely to the positions being dropped match the positions opening. This seems like a way to soften the blow, especially since the company's CEO Rick Wagoner has stated that there is no intent to allocate product to these four plants in the future. My other question would be in regards to the location of the 19,000 openings: how close are the positions to where these 10,000 out of work GM employees AND THEIR FAMILIES live?

Also on is an article that addresses this point, aptly titled, "GM plant closings rip holes in communities."

Two quotes in particular rang true to me:

"On Tuesday, as waitresses mopped tables and filled red plastic glasses with ice, Miller closed her eyes and rolled her head back.

'If the local people don't support us and our food by keeping us here, then I don't know what we'll do,' she said.

Gaylen Turner, president of Moraine's local International Union of Electronic Workers-Communications Workers, which represents the plant's workers, said he's not giving up on the plant.

'It's not optimistic, but I plan on staying around and continuing that fight as best I can,' said Turner, who is 53 and has worked at the plant for 28 years."

Each of these show the importance of local business and the support from the people within the local community of such business. This is one of the biggest ideals we at LM find just as if not more important to maintain as the shift from dependence on foreign oil because when it comes down to it, sustainability is about people and the earth we live in, not dollars and cents. If you've been following us for years, for months, or even for a few weeks, this ethos isn't news, but I wanted to take the opportunity to comment on the "holes" created by large corporations we are trying to fill.


Andrew Cronk said...

Have you seen "Roger and Me"? It demonstrates the effect of GM on the city of Flint, which I in turn had to grow up in.

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