Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 ISO Laid off autoworkers Previous Next
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Lowell
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Username: Lowell

Post Number: 3504
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 6:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If you were looking to meet autoworkers affected by the the recent cutbacks, layoffs etc. where would you go? Does anyone know of any venues -- union halls, bars next to plants, etc. where such persons could be encountered? Does anyone here fit that description who would be favorable to interview by foreign [Swiss] media? Help me out.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2071
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 6:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Don't you know anybody at any UAW locals??? And what about the white-collar workers? Don't they matter?
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Chitaku
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Username: Chitaku

Post Number: 1027
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 6:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

try some of the ma n pa bars off of Groesbeck and 12 mile a lot of factory workers over there
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 178
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 6:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No need for the media to keep continuing to cover Detroit/MI's hard times. I am pretty sure the Swiss already know enough about Detroit and Michigan's current state. Let's NOT find someone for them to interview and get all the comments about 'the hard times' and have it skewed like the Livonia mayor interview. Let's try to emphasize our positives a little bit better esp. in the foreign media.
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Buddyinrichmond
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Username: Buddyinrichmond

Post Number: 112
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 6:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If the Swiss media couldn't find a better resource than Dyes on the internet to troll for interview subjects then I'd be very worried about how I'd be misquoted or misrepresented in their production.
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Angry_dad
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Username: Angry_dad

Post Number: 120
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 6:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The truth is, the areas hit hardest are the small / medium size towns where the suppliers operate. Close a shop in a town like Mesick or Coleman, and even though these guys aren't at UAW GM rates, these towns get blasted.

It may not be fashionable to say that free trade is a flawed and failed policy. But sure is odd that smaller countries that practice it aren't experiencing the huge gap between rich and poor. And that seems to explain the whole reason why "we" have the policy. It benefits the rich.
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 428
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 7:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Trolling for quotes from former employees of GM, Ford and Chrysler by going to the bars or union halls will yield a predictable - and one sided - viewpoint, the "woe is me", "I'm a victim", "can't find a similar-paying job" laments of the unfortunate who were handed a lemon and chose NOT to make lemonade. If the media is really wanting to tell the full story of the impact of auto industry downsizing, the better places to look include the corridors of William Beaumont Hospital, the halls of local schools, the malls and retail outlets where you will find former line workers, designers, engineers and managers who have found employment in the service and retail sectors, often on a part-time basis and always at lesser pay than they were used to earning.

(edited to add the word NOT)

(Message edited by Mikeg on January 05, 2007)
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Lowell
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Username: Lowell

Post Number: 3505
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 7:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes LY white collar workers count too. know any? Yes I have asked my union connections but was looking for others outside their influence too.

Interesting how some on this thread already know what will be asked and what will be written. I didn't know we had psychics up in here. If that is all you have to offer...no thanks, I am not ISO of guesses.

Thanks to those who have something useful to offer and please continue.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2075
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 8:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The white-collar and "craft" workers who I knew (vaguely) left Detroit for better jobs around the turn of the Century when the Detroit Three switched to temps and only hired them for part of the year and usually didn't rehire due to downsizing. That's what Ford has already announced for "rehiring" some of their UAW buyouts--$16/hr (for now) with zilch bennies.

Ford offshored their cash accounting people for Indians in Asia around or before 2000 from Dearborn. However, I only know that from media reports and some former workers who are also now scattered. DCX and GM does and did this likewise to their IT and other former professional workers.
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Wash_man
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Username: Wash_man

Post Number: 266
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 10:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

On Mound Road between 8 mile and 10 mile on the west side of the road. A couple of union halls and small bars. I suspect some of the patrons are workers/ex-workers from the GM and DCX plants across the street. On a similar topic...don't forget that a lot of people have been eliminated from supplier's pay rolls. They usually don't make the news because the company is not as large. I was at a supplier plant (C&A)just before Christmas. They had eliminated 500 jobs in the two days previous to my visit. I work for a supplier and our work force is 25-30% less than just 18 months ago. These lay offs go unnoticed by the media generally, but 100 here, 250 there, it all adds up to large numbers.
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Steelworker
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Username: Steelworker

Post Number: 811
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 11:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Only laid off workers huh?
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2082
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 11:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The security analysts back in the full-employment days pegged the Tier employees at nine or ten times the number of UAW assembly-line workers. So the Tiers collectively took a far bigger job-loss hit than the Detroit Three ever could.
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 430
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 6:24 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lowell wrote,

quote:

If that is all you have to offer...no thanks




I just noticed that I left out a key word in my earlier post on this thread (which has since been edited to add it). However, my point is that if you just look in the usual places, you will miss the stories of those who have briefly mourned the loss of their automotive jobs and have since moved on to find something else to do.

Sneer at my suggestion if you will, but it doesn't change the fact that there are many of these kind of folks out there and you won't find them sitting in bars or union halls - they have gotten on with their life.
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Gargoyle
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Username: Gargoyle

Post Number: 39
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 10:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This may or may not be helpful, but it's what I experienced.

I was laid off from my welding job at the Ford Romeo tractor plant in 1980, when lots of UAW folks got the axe. At that time no one was hiring welders, so I took my TRA {Trade Readjustment Act} money, all $1500, got a loan from my parents, and went back to school. Mom and Dad weren't real excited about my prospects, as this was my third time out for a career change, but they mostly kept their doubts to themselves and let me muddle through.

And let me tell you, it sucked. I hated every minute of it. But I stuck it out, graduated, and went to work at the DMC for $3 dollars less an hour than I had been making at Ford. I had friends from the plant who took re-assignments to other Ford facilities like Sharonville, OH, and Buffalo, NY, hoping for a recall to a Detroit area plant. Some were recalled to Romeo about three years later, some to Livonia Transmission. I'm glad I didn't wait for that. My recall letter came eleven years later and offered me an assembly line job at Romeo starting at $11.25 an hour. At the time, the DMC was paying me $25 an hour.

I married one of my former co-workers who had been lucky enough to get recalled to Livonia Transmission, and who was happily employed there, working 70 to 80 hour weeks, shooting for that magic 30 year mark. We bought a tiny little fixer-upper in central Florida and spent our vacations and our spare change transforming it into our retirement paradise.

But you guessed it---reality has bitten us in the ass again. The spousal unit got to the 30 year mark, but is fearful that the new union contract coming up will slash retirement benefits, and so has opted for the $35,000 buyout, which includes retirement healthcare. Unfortunately, I cannot receive any retirement benefits from the DMC until I reach 65 {got a ways to go} and we cannot survive on the Ford pension alone, so we must now make some important decisions.

Should we abandon our Florida plans and suck it up here in Michigan so I can continue in my present job? Should we move south now? I can get a job in Florida, but the house is not done, and the houses in our current neighborhood are not selling very well. Should we sell both places and go from there?

I got to tell ya, the idea of starting a new job at my age is not nearly as appealing as it was 25 years ago. And the pressure to make the right choice is a lot greater at this end of the age continuum, as I have much less time to correct my mistakes. It keeps me awake some nights, just mulling it all over again and again.

So to all of you out there who think the "spoiled" autoworkers should just cut their losses and find new employment, it's just not that easy. I don't see my spouse starting college at 58. Maybe we were dumb or short-sighted, but we worked hard. We put three kids through college and were hoping for some quality time in the sun. Of course, Wal*Mart is always looking for greeters, right?
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Cman710
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Username: Cman710

Post Number: 162
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 10:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gargoyle,

Thank you for sharing your story with us. While my personal situation is very different from yours, I can greatly, greatly sympathize and empathize with the situation you face. It's really difficult. Exactly what kind of job are you working in at DMC? You had mentioned going back to school. What kind of schooling was it? I ask only to try to think about the options you face, so as to better understand your situation.
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Gargoyle
Member
Username: Gargoyle

Post Number: 40
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 11:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for the support, Cman. I'm an RN. I currently work in the angiography department. It would be nearly impossible to find a comparable position in Florida as the DMC angio group is rather specialized. But hey, nobody said life was fair.. Actually, it's quite ironic. I absolutely detested the idea of being a nurse, and mostly did it because I had to. But when I got my current position 10 years ago, it seemed I had finally found my niche. Well, I guess 10 years is a pretty good run, huh?
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Wash_man
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Username: Wash_man

Post Number: 271
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 11:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gargoyle, I feel bad for you. However, compared to a lot of people you are fortunate. Your spouse is getting 35K to walk away with health care. I have always worked in the supplier base. I have seen people with 20-30 years in walked to their cars with a box of personal items. No "buy out". No severance. And certainly no health care. You should feel lucky believe it or not.
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Cman710
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Username: Cman710

Post Number: 168
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 11:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You're welcome, Gargoyle.

If you do consider moving to Florida, you should definitely try to see what the demand for RNs is out there. From what I hear, the demand for nurses in parts of the South is greater than in the Northeast, but I am not sure how the Upper Midwest compares. If the demand for nurses great in your part of Florida, that might be a good thing and make it easier to find an acceptable job. And even if pay is a bit lower, living expenses and taxes should be lower, too, so living without your wife's salary might be easier, too.

Of course, having a job that you enjoy is important, too. There may not easily be a comparable position in Florida, but have you looked all throughout the area to see whether there are any similar departments (even if not exactly the same)? Also, if your group is that specialized, you might be in really high demand if you do happen to find a similar group. Given the small number of total jobs in the area, it seems like there are not a ton of people with your level of experience.

Another question: Have you considered moving to someplace other than Michigan or Florida? Not many affordable locales may have quite the warmth of Florida, but there are definitely options out there. For example, consider Texas. In Houston, you could buy a house suitable for two people for under $200,000 (probably $175,000). If you own a home in Michigan, along with the home in Florida, and sold both, you should be able to make that work financially. Moreover, Houston has a huge medical center area, one almost certain to have some kind of specialized angiography unit. It would at least give you a shot at a job you would like. It's pretty warm in the winter, too, and the tax burden is not too bad, as Texas has no state income tax (though Houston has relatively high property taxes). There are also other states you could consider, like Arizona or North Carolina. I am not sure about job opportunities, but both areas are not hugely expensive if you go to certain areas, and may have top notch medical centers (I am not sure about that, though). Also, just so that you know, I am not from Houston. (I am from New York.) My best friend is from Houston, though, as is my girlfriend, and I have visited there twice.

I understand that you may be limited in options in terms of where to move, and that other concerns, liking being near children or family may be really important, too. In that case, this will not help. But it is something to think about.
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Wash_man
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Username: Wash_man

Post Number: 274
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 12:09 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My aunt is a nurse in Naples, FL. She specializes in geriatrics. Hospitals were fighting for her. A real bidding war since the demand is high. She took a job and the hospital paid all moving expenses from Ohio and paid for an apartment while she shopped for a house. I think it is an employee's market in health care in Florida.
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Gargoyle
Member
Username: Gargoyle

Post Number: 42
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 3:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, you all are quite right. Nursing has been an undersupplied profession for many years now. People are frequently not real excited about a career that starts with a grueling college stint, and progresses to a year or two of back-breaking, emotionally challenging work before you can move into a more specialized area. And ultimately, some people are just not comfortable with the responsibilities involved. It can be daunting to realize you are truly holding people's lives in your hands. Men especially feel that the monetary compensation is not adequate for the job; better to go the extra 100 miles and be a doctor--much better pay; or be a roofer or painter or something that does not demand you jumpstart someone's heart. Men, therefore, are a true minority in this job.

But don't get me wrong. I am not complaining, really. I am 100% sure that I made the right choice when I got out of the auto industry. I'm just whining about my well-laid plans suffering a derailment. Makes me somewhat crabby.

We are exploring a couple of different ideas to navigate our change of course... We had originally purchased in Florida due to family and friends already there, but we also have family in Tennessee and have also talked about South Dakota, Wyoming, or Montana as we love the area. I am also thinking about becoming a certified legal nurse consultant, which will allow me to work from home on my own schedule. I'm very lucky to have several options open to me. I have truly enjoyed being on the "cutting edge" of things at the DMC and will miss that rush. But then again, none of us is sure how much longer that will be going on at the DMC with the current state of things. But that's another thread....
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Lowell
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Username: Lowell

Post Number: 3513
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 4:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for sharing your experiences Gargoyle. Your plans may be upset, but it sounds like you have it figured out. My heart goes out to those who get tossed out, as mentioned above, with a contents of their drawer in a bag and nothing more -- their skills no longer of value.

I tell my kid, as I do others -- School is in forever; dont' fight the notion, accept it and expect it. In the face of globalization and the information age's rapid changes, we must all continually re-educate, be flexible and be prepared to recreate ourselves economically. Expect what we do to eliminated, out-sourced, or under-priced so much that you can't live off of it.

Nothing is permanent and the lack of sympathy for slackers now extends to hard working stiffs by both business and government. You are on your own. You only count if you are needed. We could argue about why this is, but we would probably be better off using that time upgrading or learning new skills.
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Cman710
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Username: Cman710

Post Number: 173
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 6:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Gargoyle,

It sounds like you have some great ideas, so I am really glad to hear you are considering some alternatives. All of the places that you mentioned sound promising, and relatively cheap to live, too (especially the Northern states). While your situation is not ideal, you do have some decent options, and I am glad for you that you will be able to make something work, even if it may not have been your ideal situation. I would really love to hear what you decide to do once you decide.

BTW, I think that your idea of becoming a legal nurse consultant might be a good one. Do legal nurse consultants advise personal injury lawyers? If so, that promises to be a job that will always be in demand, and where you would be able to have some flexibility, too. I just finished law school, and while there are bad aspects to the legal field, it is always growing and offers relatively steady work compared to many other fields. (And as a consultant, you will avoid many of the bad aspects of the field, too, which is great.)
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Oldredfordette
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Username: Oldredfordette

Post Number: 968
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 8:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lowell, call Red Al.
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Schoolcraft
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Username: Schoolcraft

Post Number: 67
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 9:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Maybe career counselors and employment agencies
who are in contact with some these folk. Some of these may be state funded.

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