AM I NEXT? NO LOVE AT MARTINREA

Am I Next? Martinrea lay offs — vendor model year changeover.

Vaughan, Ontario, Canada-based Martinrea, a diversified global Tier-1 supplier, engaged in the design, development and manufacturing of metal parts, assemblies and modules for automotive applications, has announced a reduction in force of its heavy metal stamping plant in Shelbyville, Kentucky. Approximately 192 union employees represented by the United Autoworkers (Local 2383) are scheduled for layoff while the plant transitions to a redesigned 2020 Ford Escape. According to a company spokesperson, "The layoffs are due to the new model not having as much vehicle content to support the labor from the former model year. We have secured long-term work on a great platform for hundreds of people supporting the future of the plant and operations in Shelbyville."

Unfortunately, for both metalworkers and consumers, new fuel efficiency standards often means that it is far cheaper and easier to reduce the weight of the vehicle by substituting lighter parts or just bracing areas of anticipated stress. What the vehicle manufacturers never mention is that, in spite of all the electronic safety features to minimize accidents, the crash resistance of a vehicle is impaired and the cost to replace integrated assemblies is greatly increased.

An example of this type of integration can be found in the Nissan Altima where the failure of a shift-lever lockout solenoid (to keep you from accidentally putting the car in reverse while moving or starting the vehicle without your foot on the brake) which would normally cost less than $20 to replace plus installation labor – now requires the replacement of the entire shifter mechanism for $600 plus labor.

Change is coming. There will always be a tomorrow, no matter how much you may try to ignore it. There are no guarantees in life, or promises for a bright future. Just because something bad hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. No one is guaranteed to wake up tomorrow and still have a job by evening. Are you now wondering, Am I Next?

AM I NEXT? THE HANDWRITING IS ON THE WALL AT GOODYEAR (UPDATED)

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Layoffs

UPDATE: AUGUST 17, 2019 — LAYOFFS HIT GADSDEN, ALABAMA PLANT

The company has announced that 175 employees will be laid off at the Gadsden facility. According to a union representative, “As the Goodyear plant in Mexico comes online, we’re losing tires. As they build more tires, our production here in Gadsden is decreasing. What has happened is we’re caught up in NAFTA and the free trade deal. We can’t compete here in Gadsden.”

UPDATE: APRIL 30, 2019 — COMPANY ANNOUNCES GERMAN LAYOFFS. CAN U.S. LAYOFFS BE FAR BEHIND?

Following a First Quarter loss of $61 million, including a $93 million upgrade of German tire facilities, Goodyear’s CFO, Darren Wells explained that additional German plant upgrades will take approximately three years to complete — and there will be a reduction in force of 1,100 employees to save $60-$70 million annually.

Once can only wonder if continuing losses and increased automation will result in the loss of U.S.-based jobs. One initiative to watch is the launch of the online system to allow commercial fleet operators to interact with the company rather than speaking with employees.

Original Post…

Akron, Ohio-based Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, the iconic tire manufacturer, has announced that they are planning shift changes and layoffs in the at the Gadsden, Alabama plant which produces car and light-truck tires.

The company did not provide specifics on numbers or positions and it appears that no WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) notice has been filed with the State of Alabama at this time. However, the company did note that layoffs will take place in the second quarter and that the company is reducing its 12-hour shifts to a standard 8-hour shift beginning at the end of March 2019.

According to a company spokesperson, the decision is a routine business matter and that the “The company continually adjusts schedules to maximize capacity at all plants, increase operational efficiencies and best serve our customers with the tires they need, when and where they need them. This move is part of that process.”

The one bright spot is that the Gadsden plant is protected from closure under a 5-year contract between Goodyear and the United Steelworkers Union. Since this is year two, there are three years left remaining on the contract. Some employees believe the plant is in jeopardy because approximately 1,000 employees were laid off in February 1999 when the plant was scheduled for closure. Obviously, business conditions improved and Goodyear reversed their decision to close the facility.

Change is coming. There will always be a tomorrow, no matter how much you may try to ignore it. There are no guarantees in life, or promises for a bright future. Just because something bad hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. No one is guaranteed to wake up tomorrow and still have a job by evening. Are you now wondering, Am I Next?

AM I NEXT? NO LOVE -- LAYOFFS AT GUNLOCKE

Am I Next? Layoffs at furniture manufacturer Gunlocke.

Wayland, New York-based Gunlocke Company, a manufacturer of high-end wood office furniture and seating products, has downsized its workforce by terminating 30 employees and laying off 70 workers in its Wayland plant.

According to a parent corporation spokesperson, “There were 100 employees affected by this layoff. About 70 of them were laid off and 30 members were terminated. It is primarily due to the volume of business. The volume of products being manufactured at the Wayland facility is down significantly to the size of staffing. The staffing was too large to support the volume we were getting from the plant. The size of the workforce there was not in balance with what products we got from the facility. This layoff affected all the departments in the plant. It was across the board at the facility. It was largely based on seniority, so we try to protect the longer service members. There weren’t any particular areas or departments that were shut down. We just downsized across the manufacturing operation.” “We do all we can to reduce the cost before we talk about laying anyone off. It was decided last week that we would have to lay some people off. Gunlocke continues to be a viable and successful business for us. We hope to keep it viable in the future.”

Gunlocke is owned by Muscatine, Iowa-based HON Industries (now known as HNI) a manufacturer of inexpensive steel office furniture and operates as a subsidiary of Allsteel. Some of the products made at the Wayland plant will now be manufactured in HNI’s Iowa facility. The layoffs may have surprised some after Gunlocke recently increased its manufacturing capabilities and obtained state economic incentives.

There are no guarantees in life, or promises for a bright future. Just because something bad hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere ... are you now wondering, Am I Next?