Delphi to close Flint East Facility - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Delphi to close Flint East Facility

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(02/05/13) - General Motors says production at the Delphi Flint East plant will stop by the end of the year. This is a plant that's operated by Delphi, but with unionized GM workers.

Tuesday night, from the UAW to the Flint community, reaction is coming in about that announcement.

The President of UAW Local 651 says he believes the production changes are all because the company wants to take the work to another county.

"There is absolutely no reason that this work should be moving to Mexico," said Art Reyes, 651 UAW President.

Now the work force and community are trying to figure out how to bounce back from the latest blow.

"It's definitely terrible, it's definitely going to hurt business. How much longer is this bar going to make it," said Celeste Estelle, who is a bartender at Jamins Lounge.

The Jamins Lounge sits directly across the street from Delphi Flint East.

Just thinking about the 287 hourly workers that won't be there come November, brings a tear to Estelle's eyes.

"This bar has been here for 23 years and it's already struggling. I raise three kids on this. It's really sad to see that we're going to lose more business, the shop does provide us with lunch and dinner clients."

Delphi says the work here has continued long past an agreement that was reached in 2007.

The parts supplier had a deal with GM to use the automaker's Flint-area workforce through 2011.

Since then, UAW 651 has been fighting to secure additional work for the employees.

However, Tuesday, GM announced that product changes are forcing it to end production at Flint East.

"I wish the best to all of the Delphi workers who are going to be fighting unemployment as well and hopefully I won't be joining them," Estelle said. 

UAW 651 President Art Reyes says he's offended the announcement and now plans to fight even harder for the workers at Delphi Flint East.

"We will negotiate the best possible outcome for them. General Motors once again puts out the worst case scenario. We will not leave people behind and I will not see our members hurt," he said.

Last week, UAW 651 workers approved a strike authorization vote.

GM says this decision was made long before that vote was taken.

In the meantime, only 50 workers here have recall rights with GM.

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