Delphi future uncertain after announcement
Published 6:00 pm Sunday, June 5, 2011
ABC news had a piece Friday night during its evening telecast aboutthe competitiveness of the current labor market. They told of afellow, who after two and a half years of unemployment, with hissavings almost depleted and unemployment benefits long sinceexhausted, had just started a job at a General Motors assemblyplant in Ohio.
The individual was one of some 2,000-plus applicants who landed ahandful of new jobs working on the assembly line. His smile wasfrom ear to ear as he mounted a radiator to the vehicle in front ofhim. He spoke of the security he suddenly felt, which he had notfelt in a long time. He felt lucky – luckier than the 2,000applicants who had not been successful in landing one of the fewjobs.
The story was about the poor national job growth numbers reportedFriday. The numbers immediately got President Obama’s attention. Hespent the day trying to put a positive spin on those poor economicnumbers, which are continuing to drag on the national economy andhis presidency.
Here in Brookhaven, confirmation Friday that Delphi is movingequipment to Mexico suggests things have come to a standstill innegotiations with local labor leaders. While initial reports thatthe plant was adding a mid-night shift sounded promising, sourcessay it may be just the opposite and the plan is to simply buildinventory for other plants before shutting down the Brookhavenplant this fall.
On Tuesday afternoon in Natchez, smiles will be appearing as anannouncement is expected for a new industry coming to the rivercity. Gov. Barbour will be in attendance to join in the celebrationand a reception has been planned.
Natchez has felt the wrath of economic troubles in recent years asit lost a tire plant and a paper mill. Things may be turning for it- not what once was, but better than it has been! Like the fellowin Ohio, Natchez workers have something to smile about, for theyunderstand the fear of unemployment.
Meanwhile, 60 miles to the east, here at home, 250 jobs are injeopardy because labor and management cannot find common ground.Celebrations are not being planned and new jobs are not beingannounced, just lines drawn in the sand and lost opportunities withthe uncertainty of unemployment looming.