Do the General Motors Cuts Impact the Bowling Green Plant?

Posted: 7:01 PM Jul 15, 2008
Last Updated: 7:14 PM Jul 15, 2008
Reporter: Forrest Sanders
Email Address: forrest.sanders@wbko.com

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General Motors is making huge cuts, with plans to reduce salaried employment by 20-percent and cut truck production by 300-thousand units. What do GM's cuts mean for Bowling Green's plant?

Area United Auto Workers President Eldon Renaud says the plant has experienced a 15% reduction in the sale of Corvettes from last year.

Still, Renaud says the popularity of the Corvette remains so high that area employees are staying optimistic about the plant's future.

It's a luncheon for retired area General Motors employees, and the topic of conversation today is GM's upcoming cuts to salaried workers and production.

"We feel sorry for our union brothers and sisters and the GM employees that are having to bite the bullet some right now," says retired GM safety trainer Dave Chrisley.

These former employees aren't really concerned for the future of the Bowling Green plant, and there's one reason why.

"Corvette, that's an American icon," explains retired plant maintenance co-chair George Mapes Jr. "It's a limited number of builds each day and the people who get em, they're repeat buyers because of the quality."

"Our car is widely popular and even though it's a high performance car, it still gets 31 miles to the gallon on the highway," adds local UAW president Eldon Renaud.

That's not to say there won't be some effects on the local plant.

"Locally, probably 15 to 20% of salaried employees will be affected, and I hate that for anybody losing their jobs, but the hourly employees are protected here," Renaud explains.

Those employees say a lack of cuts to production is not only good news for the plant but also the economy of Bowling Green in general.

"That plant has several suppliers locally that keep them with nuts, bolts, parts, fuel, everything that goes with it, not to mention the taxes that comes out of there," says George.

"As far as our product staying above water and continuing to flourish, the Corvette has quite a following and I think it's going to do great," Dave concludes.

Renaud says that he believes many cuts being made to salaried employees will be absorbed through attrition.