Cash options floated for workers at GM stamping plant

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Fliers circulating at General Motors' Indianapolis plant show that union members will be offered cash payments of $25,000 to $35,000 and an opportunity to keep a foot in the door with GM, if they agree to work for JD Norman Industries.

The outcome of a vote scheduled for Monday could decide whether the massive metal-stamping facility southwest of downtown stays open.

GM is trying to sell the plant to JD Norman Industries, based in Addison, Ill., but hasn't received much cooperation from United Auto Workers Local 23, which represents 631 workers at the plant. Union members voted 384-to-22 on May 26 not to open contract negotiations with Norman, which would pay a lower hourly wage, and—workers believed at the time—wipe out their GM retirement eligibility.

Despite the initial vote, higher-level UAW officials continued to work with JD Norman Industries and GM to come up with a proposal the rank-and-file might accept. Norman is expected to become a GM supplier.

Union members will hear about the proposed five-year contract in a meeting Sunday and vote on Monday.

Local 23 President Ray Kennedy issued a statement on Friday saying, "The reality is that everyone at this plant doesn't want to see it sold or closed." He noted that the plant has been considered a "benchmark" for GM's global standards. "We were the best, the plant that others looked to and strived to become. We have struggled through being denied tax abatements, national trade agreements, bankruptcy, and a reduced market share and remained open.

"We are now facing the most challenging circumstances most of our members have ever seen."

Gov. Mitch Daniels' administration and Mayor Greg Ballard's office also want to see the plant stay open, keeping jobs and tax revenue here. Commerce Secretary Mitch Roob said his understanding of the proposed contract was that current union members would have three options to stay with Norman or go with GM, though he wasn't sure of the details.

One of the fliers circulating on Friday outlined five options for union members, depending on their retirement eligibility and desire to transfer to other GM plants.

According to two of the options, those who retire from or quit GM but work for JD Norman for two years would receive $35,000.

Those who want to keep working for GM—and continue building toward retirement—could go into a layoff status while working for JD Norman for two years. They would receive $25,000. Those who want to transfer to another GM site immediately would remain eligible to do so, but they would get no cash.

Local 23 Bargaining Committee Chairman Greg Clark wants the union to turn down any JD Norman proposal and let GM close the plant, as it has planned to do by September 2011. That would preserve rights under the current UAW contract to transfer, receive a cash payment of $30,000, and keep current wages.

Clark said the cash that's being offered to work for JD Norman Industries doesn't make up for the wage cuts. According to one flier, production workers would make $15.50 per hour, while skilled tradesmen would earn $24 per hour.

That amounts to an $8-per-hour wage reduction for most skilled tradesmen, and half the union members are in skilled trades, Clark said.


  • you don't know nothing
    why dont you people writing news find out facts before you inform public. find out facts then write .

    local 23 uaw member

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. In reality, Lilly is maintaining profit by cutting costs such as Indiana/US citizen IT workers by a significant amount with their Tata Indian consulting connection, increasing Indian H1B's at Lillys Indiana locations significantly and offshoring to India high paying Indiana jobs to cut costs and increase profit at the expense of U.S. workers.

  2. I think perhaps there is legal precedence here in that the laws were intended for family farms, not pig processing plants on a huge scale. There has to be a way to squash this judges judgment and overrule her dumb judgement. Perhaps she should be required to live in one of those neighbors houses for a month next to the farm to see how she likes it. She is there to protect the people, not the corporations.

  3. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/03-111.htm Corporate farms are not farms, they are indeed factories on a huge scale. The amount of waste and unhealthy smells are environmentally unsafe. If they want to do this, they should be forced to buy a boundary around their farm at a premium price to the homeowners and landowners that have to eat, sleep, and live in a cesspool of pig smells. Imagine living in a house that smells like a restroom all the time. Does the state really believe they should take the side of these corporate farms and not protect Indiana citizens. Perhaps justifiable they should force all the management of the farms to live on the farm itself and not live probably far away from there. Would be interesting to investigate the housing locations of those working at and managing the corporate farms.

  4. downtown in the same area as O'malia's. 350 E New York. Not sure that another one could survive. I agree a Target is needed d'town. Downtown Philly even had a 3 story Kmart for its downtown residents.

  5. Indy-area residents... most of you have no idea how AMAZING Aurelio's is. South of Chicago was a cool pizza place... but it pales in comparison to the heavenly thin crust Aurelio's pizza. Their deep dish is pretty good too. My waistline is expanding just thinking about this!