Friday, October 22, 2010

Chrysler Plant- Kenosha, Closes.

Tom's Journal.

There are a lot of memories here when a man named Tom Schuckman put in over 30 years at this auto plant-- 'one day chicken-- the next day feathers.' It was a pressure cooker, but also our bread and butter, and the hard work was a badge of honor being able to support your family with some dignity, but where many weak people were hired and left at lunch time never to return because the work was 'too hard.' I remember when in 1989, 6000 people got laid off in one day with fear in their guts, but some of us [like me] went straight back to college to make something of ourselves and learn another trade/ skill, so that we felt some self worth as human beings, but it was an up hill fight to stay employed in that recession. Many divorces happened, and when most of us were called back 6 years latter-- HALF OF OUR NUMBER WERE DIVORCED! Although this is just another tragic story in America-- the Bible tells us that things in the world will get MUCH worse in the near future. The only safe anchor is Jesus Christ. Read the Book.

Tom Schuckman

Air Temp: 40 F.

Chrysler Kenosha Plants Closes This Month

By Tom Murray

KENOSHA - Friday will be the final full manufacturing day at the Kenosha Chrysler Engine Plant. By the end of next week, union workers will be out of a job. A company spokesperson said the last engine will come off the line on October 29.

For more than two decades, Mike Underhill punched the clock here.

"When is it going to end? Sooner or later nobody's going to have money left to buy stuff," Underhill said.

There's been auto related blue collar work at this facility for more than a century. In better years, it was an AMC assembly plant. The huge operation paid the bills for thousands of Wisconsin families.

Reduced now to a few hundred employees, much of the Chrysler work that had been done here will go to Mexico.

"Hundreds and hundreds of family supporting jobs because we have the wrong trade policies," said David Newby of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, blaming problems with the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Governor Jim Doyle blames a struggling, downsizing auto industry.

"It's really a sad moment," Doyle told TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray. "We've known it's been coming for a long time."

As for Mike, he was recently elected to the Kenosha County Board and plans to stay in the area.

"I'm at least going to walk out of here with a pension, so i can't complain about that," Underhill said.

Chrysler said it offered jobs at other plants to about 300 Kenosha employees. About 60 workers accepted the offer.