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. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.