Saturday, November 10, 2007

Downsizing, layoffs rip lives apart

The Indianapolis Star takes a touching, personal look at the kind of job loss that's wrecking Indiana's economy and the lives of those who live here:

One month ago, Edith Buckley rented a truck, packed up her home and transferred from Delphi’s plant in Milwaukee to another in Kokomo, expecting to root herself in Central Indiana.

Friday, she was let go. Permanently.

Welcome to the new world of the downsizing Detroit auto industry.

“What happened to the ethics of companies?” asked Buckley, 52, a single mother who says she has an ailing kidney. “I took the job because I didn’t have health insurance. Now I don’t know if I can find work again at my age and get insurance.”

Buckley was laid off with 54 other Delphi Kokomo autoworkers Friday, many of whom also relocated in October from Milwaukee. The layoff follows the procedure set in the United Auto Workers union contract, the company said, with the newest Delphi hires discharged first. Buckley was hired almost one year ago at Delphi Milwaukee.

What’s happening in Kokomo, where Delphi employs about 4,300, stands out as an example of wrenching change.

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