Saturday, October 28, 2006

Merry Christmas, You're Fired

From the news article today:

The first group of employees to lose their jobs at
Bridgestone/Firestone's Dayton Tire factory in Oklahoma City will learn details of their severance packages at meetings today and Friday, the company said.


But company spokesman Dan MacDonald said the factory closure comes after the [union] contract has expired, so the job losses are terminations.

"You can't call it a layoff, since those employees will not be called back to the plant," MacDonald said.


The company gave its official notice in July, saying the factory would close by Dec. 31 with the loss of more than 1,400 jobs. The typical production worker at Dayton makes about $900 a week, not including benefits, according to the company.

Local union officials said the company has put employees in Oklahoma City in a tough position, especially as the remainder of the job losses — 1,000 — will come in the week before Christmas.


This is just one of the many manufacturing job plant closings in the Oklahoma City area. Given the high wages these workers garnered for the local area, it will be very difficult for them to find work that will be comparable in pay and benefits to the job they are losing.


Teri said...

Well, I'm sure the government will dig up some retraining money. And they may be able to drag their unemployment out a bit as the real estate down turn will likely trigger extra benefits. But many of those workers will not be finding full time work again and the pay they receive will be substantially less than they get now. Even with retraining, it's likely they won't find a job with their new skills. Been there, done that, got the $11 an hour job to prove it (down from $50k during the tech boom.

OkieLawyer said...

I think that will be a small solace to those will be losing their jobs -- especially those nearing retirement. It won't be so easy for them to learn new skills. It will be even more difficult for them to continue working in their golden years.

Anonymous said...

I grew up with a father who was on the layoff/rehire treadmill at GM. They even moved him to a new plant in another state, only to get laid off again with 18 months. People need to realize that they have to move on and re-train. I know it's frustrating to lose these high paying jobs, but it's a house of cards. Car prices keep going higher to help pay for the benefits of the workers, and at some point prices can't go higher. People stop buying these expensive cars (that they can't afford anyway). Once the slow down hits, the automakers can't stay in business and support the employees and their benefits. Something has to give.

OkieLawyer said...


I can understand that there are market forces at work and competition and technology will change the dynamics. At the same time I think the ordinary people who make up the work force that make the company profitable also deserve some guaranteed stability in the areas of retirement and health care so that they can be more mobile and portable. The way to do this is to create a national annuity program and health care system that is guaranteed to all legal workers.

Health care should be guaranteed to all persons due to how health problems can be transmissible. Contagious diseases know no boundaries. It would be foolish to deny care to someone because of their status when the risks are so great.

As Bill Maher says, New Rule: no one should be denied food, water, shelter, medical care or the means to provide for themselves because of who they are.