News from CWA: GM Refuses IUE-CWA Efforts to Keep Moraine, Ohio, Plant Open
Rejecting the efforts of IUE-CWA to negotiate a way to save a General Motors assembly plant in Moraine, Ohio, the company has announced it will shut down the plant and lay off the final 1,400 workers two days before Christmas.
"IUE-CWA and the Local 84798 negotiating committee worked closely together to try to rescue this plant," IUE-CWA President Jim Clark said. "We had a strong basis to start from given the high quality and productivity of the workforce. Despite offers to 'do whatever it takes to save Moraine,' GM was determined to shut down the plant."
GM announced this summer that it would close the SUV plant by 2010 because of the big vehicles' slumping sales. About 1,000 jobs were cut in September when GM ended the plant's second shift.
The economic crisis and soaring fuel prices have hit Moraine and nearby Dayton, and its working families, especially hard. Clark described it as a "community already rocked by plant closings and layoffs."
But he said the Moraine plant could have survived if GM had been willing to work with IUE-CWA. "We left no stone unturned," Clark said, describing outreach to elected officials and a range of innovative proposals. "We presented GM with proposals that would have made the Moraine, Ohio, facility - the most competitive in the GM portfolio - even more competitive than their competitors. But GM was not willing to work with us by committing to new product."
The union is finalizing a settlement package for IUE-CWA members at the plant that Clark said "will allow them to transition their lives after this devastating blow." The package will include buyout, retirement and flowback opportunities.
"I know that we can count on the professionalism of our membership to see that the last truck out reflects the quality they are known for," Clark said, urging members to pour their anger into electing a president who stands with workers.
"I call on our members to express their outrage by voting in November for an Obama administration that will work to keep good manufacturing jobs in the United States instead of a continuation of the same trade policies and lax regulation that have destroyed our economy," he said.