GM exec: Time isn't right to restart ...

GM exec: Time isn't right to restart Spring Hill's vehicle assembly line

There are 18 comments on the Knoxville News Sentinel story from May 9, 2011, titled GM exec: Time isn't right to restart Spring Hill's vehicle assembly line. In it, Knoxville News Sentinel reports that:

The General Motors auto plant in Spring Hill has a good friend in GM North America President Mark Reuss, a Vanderbilt University engineering graduate who says Middle Tennessee will always occupy a warm place in his heart.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Knoxville News Sentinel.

Alabama Dude

Spring Hill, TN

#1 May 9, 2011
They need to open the GM plant and get these high school graduates a job. There isn't enough jobs around here.
TaxedPayer

Spring Hill, TN

#2 May 9, 2011
Don't walk into the light, it's a false hope even if they do reopen it.
Years of being laid off, overtime, plant closings, transferring to 'other' plants and reduced benefits and wages is not what I would recommend to anyone getting out of HS.
Couple that with physical repetitive injuries and the way management treats the employee is why both my sons joined the military and got college educations. One working as an electrician with the feds.
And the other attending college for the medical field.

Even 'if' they can do the job, it's a cyclical industry and the plant if over 20 yrs old.
There is simply no way one can expect to retire from this plant 30+ yrs from now.
It will close again.

Cynic

Franklin, TN

#3 May 9, 2011
When will the time be right? Right before the 2012 elections of course! You read it hear first!
Sing Sing

Nashville, TN

#4 May 14, 2011
As long as GM is "government motors" and under the thumb of one of Obama's czars, you can forget any plants reopening in a right to work state. That's just not going to happen.
Stanley

Nashville, TN

#5 May 15, 2011
Sing Sing wrote:
As long as GM is "government motors" and under the thumb of one of Obama's czars, you can forget any plants reopening in a right to work state. That's just not going to happen.
Thank God for a right to (not be screwed by union bosses) work state...Looks like the Dems finally got some good advice! I am beginning to like this Czar stuff.

Where do the Koreans stand on labor unions? I think Hyundai could be the best chance for the Spring Hill plant...
Sing Sing

Nashville, TN

#6 May 16, 2011
Stanley wrote:
<quoted text>
Thank God for a right to (not be screwed by union bosses) work state...Looks like the Dems finally got some good advice! I am beginning to like this Czar stuff.
Where do the Koreans stand on labor unions? I think Hyundai could be the best chance for the Spring Hill plant...
If that's true, I think that would be very good. Hyundai has positioned themselves very well for long term growth.
Keeping It Real

Spring Hill, TN

#7 May 17, 2011
The last time they tried to hire 300 natural born "locals", only 18 could pass the(hair)drug test. Then, out of the 18 only a few lasted because they didn't want to come to work or come to work on time. No work ethic in southern people. Why would GM want to restart a plant if you can't find anyone. That's why GM was forced to hire people from up north back in the 90's.(My Aunt in Columbia works at the drug test place and she was the one that told me that fact) It cost GM two thousand dollars (moving expenses) a person to send anyone from the north to the Spring Hill area. To prove my claims of poor work ethics, go to any Kroger at starting time and all the employees come in 5-15 late everyday! Enough said!
TaxedPayer

Spring Hill, TN

#8 May 17, 2011
As far as keeping it "Real" goes, the natural born locals that were hired that I did work with back in 95-96 ish time frame did do their job just fine and showed up to work on time just as much as anyone else did.
Also, as far as drug testing goes of the work force, the imported UAW transferred people were NOT tested at all because of Union agreements.
I truly wonder just how many of them would have failed the same drug test?
I do know for a fact that sting operations by the police were conducted inside the plant and quite a few transferred UAW workers were arrested whenever the cops pretended to be fellow workers or cafeteria personnel, usually young pretty ladies were the bait (Undercover cops).
Showing up late?
When Saturn had the original agreement with the UAW many transferred workers were notorious for showing up late or not at all, as they couldn't be held responsible.
I had one team member call in minuets prior to the line starting that they couldn't come to work because of a headache....BS, another took off every Saturday as his daughters played softball.
And they got paid for the day as well.
Such was the eventual reason why the agreement was dissolved due to some workers abusing the system.
Glass houses and all...
Howard Stern

AOL

#9 May 17, 2011
TaxedPayer wrote:
As far as keeping it "Real" goes, the natural born locals that were hired that I did work with back in 95-96 ish time frame did do their job just fine and showed up to work on time just as much as anyone else did.
Also, as far as drug testing goes of the work force, the imported UAW transferred people were NOT tested at all because of Union agreements.
I truly wonder just how many of them would have failed the same drug test?
I do know for a fact that sting operations by the police were conducted inside the plant and quite a few transferred UAW workers were arrested whenever the cops pretended to be fellow workers or cafeteria personnel, usually young pretty ladies were the bait (Undercover cops).
Showing up late?
When Saturn had the original agreement with the UAW many transferred workers were notorious for showing up late or not at all, as they couldn't be held responsible.
I had one team member call in minuets prior to the line starting that they couldn't come to work because of a headache....BS, another took off every Saturday as his daughters played softball.
And they got paid for the day as well.
Such was the eventual reason why the agreement was dissolved due to some workers abusing the system.
Glass houses and all...
It shows you live in Sieverville, TN, so why are you on the Spring Hill, TN Topix? Why don't you stay in your own part of the world and talk about Dollywood or Gatlinburg? I can't possibly believe a word you are saying and wish you keep the gossip to yourself. This forum is for people living in Spring Hill. Not fair for us to write here say about Gatlinburg now is it? Thank you for understanding our side.
TaxedPayer

Spring Hill, TN

#10 May 17, 2011
Howard Stern wrote:
<quoted text>
It shows you live in Sieverville, TN, so why are you on the Spring Hill, TN Topix? Why don't you stay in your own part of the world and talk about Dollywood or Gatlinburg? I can't possibly believe a word you are saying and wish you keep the gossip to yourself. This forum is for people living in Spring Hill. Not fair for us to write here say about Gatlinburg now is it? Thank you for understanding our side.
Thanks for your concern, but the location of where I am listed in the postings has nothing to do with where I actually live, it has to do with the server/router connection.
I can assure you my comments are not gossip, but my first hand accounting of my own experience.
Now perhaps you can understand that, as you seem to be from AOL.
Sing Sing

Nashville, TN

#11 May 17, 2011
These are things that I know to be facts about Saturn:
1) When the plant originally opened, anyone could shut down the assembly line. If it stayed down for 30 minutes, you could go home and get paid, after 30.1 minutes, you couldn't find a Yankee anywhere near Smyrna TN.
2) The UAW culture contaminated every aspect of what GM was trying to do with Saturn. They weren't totally at fault because GM didn't really want a new culture, they just wanted the goodwill generated by the marketing of Saturn. The cars were mediocre and never a serious threat to the superior Japanese cars.
TaxedPayer

Spring Hill, TN

#12 May 17, 2011
Sing Sing wrote:
These are things that I know to be facts about Saturn:
1) When the plant originally opened, anyone could shut down the assembly line. If it stayed down for 30 minutes, you could go home and get paid, after 30.1 minutes, you couldn't find a Yankee anywhere near Smyrna TN.
2) The UAW culture contaminated every aspect of what GM was trying to do with Saturn. They weren't totally at fault because GM didn't really want a new culture, they just wanted the goodwill generated by the marketing of Saturn. The cars were mediocre and never a serious threat to the superior Japanese cars.
1) While it is true that anyone could shut down the assembly line they had to have a valid reason for doing so eg: bad parts from the supplier, no parts...etc.
You could not shut down the line to just go home, if thats what you were implying.
If we were told that the line would be down for the rest of the shift or for a specific time period like 4 hrs or so we could leave the plant and still be paid. If there was no work for us to do.

2) What "UAW culture contaminated every aspect of what GM was trying to do with Saturn" are you referring to?
Thats a very broad statement which can't be defended without specifics.

Many in the GM corporation did not want Saturn's culture agreement with the UAW membership, and the UAW majority didn't want the Saturn culture as well.
But certain upper GM management pushed the idea thru, and those whose plants were closing were given the opportunity if accepted to 'Quit' GM and go to work at Saturn and the culture.
After those at the top of the GM management food chain that pushed for Saturn lost interest or left the company, Saturn was left to wither on the vine. As those left in the corporation saw no need for Saturn.
Most of the company and the UAW heads didn't want Saturn, in retrospect most of us not drinking the Kool Aid knew Saturn was a doomed effort as GM found out recently what we already knew, too many GM brands.
But as the old plants were being torn down it was a place to transfer to to finish out the 30 yrs.
GM lost their shirts and after around 1996 or so GM was pulling the purse strings at the Spring hill operation which eventually just made the car another GM vehicle clone.

Did GM need Saturn? Certainly not. imo

Was the culture a good idea? Yes, but it wouldn't have worked in an old plant. Blame Management and/or the UAW equally.

Danny Joe Pratt

Spring Hill, TN

#13 May 18, 2011
I worked at Saturn in the 90's and I had to raise my hand to go to the bathroom like a kids in grade school and they would finally came around 3 minutes before my break time and I about pissed my pants everyday! The Union and Saturn doesn't care about you. Why was I paying Union dues? They were paying me 1/3 what I could make hanging boards and mudding. I could go to the bathroom anytime I wanted working for myself. I quit and went back to what I was doing before. That assembly work is for illegal aliens or kids right out of high school that don't go to college. Oh and I had shoulder surgery and carpal tunnel from working at Saturn. By the way, my neighbor worked there and lost over $500,000 he saved in his 401k and now works at Kroger one year after he retired. That place is a joke!
southern born

Nashville, TN

#14 May 18, 2011
Keeping It Real wrote:
The last time they tried to hire 300 natural born "locals", only 18 could pass the(hair)drug test. Then, out of the 18 only a few lasted because they didn't want to come to work or come to work on time. No work ethic in southern people. Why would GM want to restart a plant if you can't find anyone. That's why GM was forced to hire people from up north back in the 90's.(My Aunt in Columbia works at the drug test place and she was the one that told me that fact) It cost GM two thousand dollars (moving expenses) a person to send anyone from the north to the Spring Hill area. To prove my claims of poor work ethics, go to any Kroger at starting time and all the employees come in 5-15 late everyday! Enough said!
Are you crazy or what? First off your aunt probably only tested 18 people herself, if that many. Second off Kroger hires alot of special needs people, so sure they may run late from time to time, you cant judge everyone from here based on what a few people do.
TaxedPayer

Spring Hill, TN

#15 May 18, 2011
Danny Joe Pratt wrote:
I worked at Saturn in the 90's and I had to raise my hand to go to the bathroom like a kids in grade school and they would finally came around 3 minutes before my break time and I about pissed my pants everyday! The Union and Saturn doesn't care about you. Why was I paying Union dues? They were paying me 1/3 what I could make hanging boards and mudding. I could go to the bathroom anytime I wanted working for myself. I quit and went back to what I was doing before. That assembly work is for illegal aliens or kids right out of high school that don't go to college. Oh and I had shoulder surgery and carpal tunnel from working at Saturn. By the way, my neighbor worked there and lost over $500,000 he saved in his 401k and now works at Kroger one year after he retired. That place is a joke!
No one had to raise their hand to go to the bathroom.
If you did then it was your choice. You had to get hold of the off line teammate to take your place. If you couldn't find him/her then just have someone with the radio contact them.

You didn't have to pay Union Dues, right to work state.
By law they still had to represent you.

Assembly line work isn't for everyone obviously, but it feeds the family and puts a roof above ones head.
Your story kinda conflicts with those who call UAW workers lazy button pushers though (as a side note) or you got those injuries by pushing the button incorrectly (sarcasm).

I Don't know why your neighbor lost over 500,000 in his 401k, but it didn't have anything to do with Saturn/GM/UAW thats for sure.
Poor investment choices were his/hers own fault.
Just the fact that he actually saved 500,000 (even if he lost it somehow) kinda was the reason to put up with 30yrs on the line.
Apparently "hanging boards and mudding" has earned you more than 500,000...I didn't know it pays that well.
TaxedPayer

Spring Hill, TN

#16 May 18, 2011
Keeping It Real wrote:
No work ethic in southern people. Why would GM want to restart a plant if you can't find anyone. That's why GM was forced to hire people from up north back in the 90's.
I reread your statement again (aster I posted) and found another inaccuracy.(It's so full of them it was hard to get them all).

GM did not transfer workers from other plants (notice I did not say "up north" as some came from other locations, Doraville, Shreveport, Jacksonville, Oklahoma and California ) because of not being able to "find" locals with a good work ethic.
Current Employees with GM had the 'Right' to transfer to another GM facility. And as GM was closing some other plants those employees in them had the right to transfer within the company which brought them to Saturn, there was no other reason.
Which negates your assumption as to why current employees for GM were given the option to transfer as it had nothing to do with locals work ethics.
Howard Stern

AOL

#17 May 18, 2011
The man said he had to raise his hand to go to the bathroom and you tell the man he isn't telling the truth. The man clearly laid out his experience and you discount his account of the events! Were you there when it happened. NO! Is is possible the man is telling the truth? YES! Did you outline policy? Yes! Is policy always followed. NO! You need to stick to what you witness and stop assuming anything! The postings are for facts, not your opinions! I welcome everyone's facts because I like to know what is going on in this area. I just ask that you and everyone be honest and accurate. Thank You!
TaxedPayer

Spring Hill, TN

#18 May 18, 2011
Howard Stern wrote:
The man said he had to raise his hand to go to the bathroom and you tell the man he isn't telling the truth. The man clearly laid out his experience and you discount his account of the events! Were you there when it happened. NO! Is is possible the man is telling the truth? YES! Did you outline policy? Yes! Is policy always followed. NO! You need to stick to what you witness and stop assuming anything! The postings are for facts, not your opinions! I welcome everyone's facts because I like to know what is going on in this area. I just ask that you and everyone be honest and accurate. Thank You!
Reread please, I did not say he was lying, I did not say he didn't raise his hand.
There is and was no rule per se that mandates you 'had' to raise your hand...period.
It's an assembly line, you have to get or find someone to take your place at your job before leaving it.
Someone has to do your job while you age gone.
You could either call out verbally to someone who is off the line or call on a radio, every team had one, so you could ask another team right next to you to call over the radio to the person in your team for help.
Or you could use one of the phones on a column to call the team center or the OMA's office (Oma being the Leader over a section of teams).
But to say you 'had' to raise your hand like when you were in grade school is a total inaccuracy as there was/is no rule mandating you do that. FACT btw.

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