Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chrysler death watch

I know that I am being dramatic with this title, but I am worried. For years, Kenosha has had their hearts broken, their wallets slammed and the dream bubbles burst.

I remember the joy that all Kenoshans felt the day Chrysler stepped in and bought American Motors. Kenosha had new life and a chance for every single current and retired employee of our automaking plant to breath a sigh of relief.

Of course, that sigh of relief did not last for long when a couple years later, the Chrysler engine plant in Kenosha was shut down. Over 5500 people lost their jobs. For a city our size, that is a gigantic hit. Chrysler head Lee Iacocca's name was a curse word here in Kenosha.

Slowly about 1200 people were hired back to the engine plant.

Over the years, we have watched these numbers drop. I am not exactly sure where we are at today, but I am told about 700 employees remain.

Well, here we sit again. Another day, another deadline, another sickening feeling in our stomach.

Even as I sit and type this, there are many families in Kenosha worried sick.

Yesterday, the UAW approved changes to the contracts. The change to the contracts meant that all retirees lost their dental and vision insurance.

The situation today is pretty fluid and I am certain the Kenosha News is keeping up.

A few moments ago I heard the White House has told Chrysler they will need to go into bankruptcy.

I am not sure what bankruptcy means for Kenosha Chrysler workers and retirees, but I will try to find out.

Updated: As I am sure everyone has heard, Chrysler is filing for bankruptcy, probably by the end of the day.

What does that mean for Kenosha?

I don't know and I will not guess.

Here is an article hinting at the future of Chrysler. It has some depressing stuff in it about the Kenosha plant. Be forewarned- reading this could cause depression.

Just keep in mind, we have been here so many times before. We have been on this death watch for a lot of years.

Say a prayer for all of Kenosha.

No comments: