Email List Sign Up

75 more workers laid off at GM Bowling Green plant

75 more workers laid off at GM Bowling Green plant

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
  75 more workers laid off at GM Bowling Green plant

As 75 more workers were indefinitely laid off from General Motors’ Corvette assembly plant in this western Kentucky city, those who remain say 2009 has been one tough year.

GM’s Bowling Green Assembly Plant was temporarily shut down for a total of 26 weeks this year, according to The Daily News of Bowling Green. Among the only good news: word that no temporary shutdowns are scheduled for 2010.

"It’s almost positive news because there’s not as much negative news," Bowling Green plant manager Bob Parcell said.

As demand has dwindled for luxury vehicles such as the Corvette, the plant has been forced to slow production.


Last year, the plant churned out 18.5 cars per hour. That rate was cut to 15 cars an hour in October 2008 and then to 11 cars an hour in March, according to Andrea Hales, communications manager for the local plant.

Now, production lines are transitioning to eight vehicles an hour.

Earlier this year, the plant halted production of the Cadillac XLR.

By the beginning of this month, the plant employed 486 workers — fewer than half the 1,100 workers it once employed.

Employee morale is "not very high," Parcell said. "You look at 2009 … and the plant’s been down as much as it’s been run. It’s hard to come to work all fired up."

This year, employees like Patrick Klein have watched co-workers get laid off or struggle through plant shutdowns.

"It’s hard for anybody to keep their chin up when they know they’re going to get laid off," said Klein, a 20-year veteran of General Motors and vice president of the United Auto Workers Local 2164.

And even though the company recently released better-than-expected sales figures, Corvette sales are still low, Klein said. "And that’s what directly affects us here," he said.

Nick Davis, who has worked at General Motors for 15 years and at the Bowling Green plant for five years, said he remembers his first day at the Corvette plant.

"I walk in … and I see clean, beautiful cars," he said. "I was like, ‘Wow, I’m in Disney World.’"

And while he enjoys working at the local plant, the past year has been challenging, Davis said.

Davis said he tries to concentrate on any positive news. For him, there’s an upside to temporary layoffs.

"Personally, I really enjoyed it," said Davis, a father of two young daughters. "It made me a stay-at-home dad and brought me closer to the girls than I ever expected."

Even though times are rough, workers said they’re optimistic about their jobs and about the plant’s future.

"It’s just a difficult time, a very difficult time, but I do have a positive outlook," Klein said. "I think things are going to get better; I just don’t know when."

Davis said he’s confident in the local plant and the product it makes.

"It is one of the last muscle cars being made," he said. "I do believe we’ll be here for a while."

Seniority Lists
Recent Posts!
Bargaining Committee

Mike Herron
Tim Stannard
Zone at Large – 1st
Danny Taylor
Zone at Large – 2nd
Mark Wilkerson
Joe McClure
Chad Poynor
Steve Roberts
Derek Lewis
Bill Cundiff
Kirk Zebbs
Don Numinen
Jay Minella
Danny Bragg
Chris Hill
Rashad Thomas
Keith Oswald
Chris Brown

1853 Officers

Tim Stannard
Mike Herron
Vice President
Darrell DeJean
Financial Secretary
Mark Wunderlin
Recording Secretary
Peggy Mullins
Trustee (3)
Jay Lowe
Dave Clements
Dave Spare
Sgt. at Arms
David C Spare
Ashley Holloway
E-Board at Large (2)
David Ryder
Steve Roberts
GM Unit Chair
Mike Herron
Leadec Unit Chair
Larry Poole
Ryder Unit Chair
Patrick Linck
AFV Unit Chair
Neil Osborne
Retiree Chair
Mike Martinez

Get Text Alerts


*Standard text messaging rates may apply from your carrier