Tag Archives: GM

TNDP: Thank Obama, Not Republicans, for GM Reopening at Spring Hill

News release from Tennessee Democratic Party:
NASHVILLE – In response to General Motors’ announcement Monday at Spring Hill attended by Governor Bill Haslam, Sen. Bob Corker and Rep. Scott DesJarlais, Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester released the following statement:
“General Motors’ expansion in Spring Hill is great news for Tennesseans and a huge credit is owed to the United Auto Workers, who made the deal that got this plant fully reopened. Over the coming months, we will see more than 1,700 new GM jobs and countless jobs created through the parts supply chain. This announcement boosts Tennessee’s economy and strengthens our communities.
“But this announcement would not be possible without President Obama’s successful loan to the auto industry, which gave automakers a pathway to profitability and saved hundreds of thousands of American jobs.
“It’s upsetting that some politicians said Spring Hill auto workers weren’t worth the time and fixing the American auto industry wasn’t worth the money, but today’s announcement shows the President’s investment paid off.
“What’s more upsetting is that some politicians are taking credit for these new jobs when they’ve opposed similar investments or sat silent when these deals were negotiated. If politicians like Sen. Corker, Rep. DesJarlais and Gov. Haslam’s friend Mitt Romney had been in charge, there would be no American auto industry and Spring Hill would be a ghost town.

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GM to Make Cars at Spring Hill Plant Again (& Sen. Corker booed)

(Note: Updates, expands earlier post)
SPRING HILL, Tenn. (AP) — General Motors announced Monday it will start building the Chevrolet Equinox at its idled Tennessee plant and will also make midsized vehicles there in the future.
Monday’s announcement of a total $244 million investment over two phases is projected to create nearly 1,900 jobs at the former Saturn plant outside Nashville.
The automaker said it initially will invest $61 million and create nearly about 700 jobs to begin making the Equinox by the second half of 2012. Sales of the crossover are up 45 percent this year to more than 162,000, according to Autodata Corp.
An additional $183 million to make unspecified midsized vehicles for the 2015 model year is projected to create another 1,200 jobs. GM officials wouldn’t divulge more specifics.
“We don’t like to tip our hand to the competition,” said Cathy Clegg, GM’s vice president for labor relations.

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Miscellaneous TN News Notes. 9/17/11

GM To Reopen Spring Hill Plant
DETROIT (AP) — As part of a tentative agreement reached with the United Auto Workers, GM will reopen its idled assembly line at its plant in Spring Hill, officials said late Friday.
Details weren’t immediately released, but the union said the contract will ensure that laid-off workers will be hired back.
The union said the contract also will improve health-care benefits and profit-sharing plans.
Ketron Honored for Hearing Aid Bill
Families of children who needed access to affordable hearing aids will honor state Sen. Bill Ketron Sept. 21, reports the Daily News Journal.
Families and many statewide agencies, including the host of the event, the Tennessee Disability Coalition, labored in support of this legislation. The event was organized to show their appreciation for Ketron’s leadership in passing hearing aid coverage for children, which was signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam in May.
Mayor to Maintain Dual Role
While there may be some sentiment in Arlington against Mayor-elect Mike Wissman serving as the town’s leader and on the county school board, there apparently is nothing in the suburb’s rules to prohibit the dual role, according to the Commercial Appeal.
Wissman defeated three other candidates in Thursday’s election to replace Russell Wiseman as Arlington’s mayor. The question of Wissman serving on the school board and as the town’s leader emerged as a campaign issue in the closing weeks.
The mayor-elect has pledged to keep both seats for Arlington to have an inside view along the consolidated school district path. He also wants to prevent the County Commission from appointing someone if he steps down.

The state Supreme Court has thrown out a lawsuit from a man demoted from department chair at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to tenured professor, reports the Chattanooga TFP
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According to the Supreme Court ruling, William Harman, then chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion, was demoted in 2008 after refusing to change his evaluation of an assistant professor.
In a review, Harman had said Talia Welsh’s was unprofessional, citing an extramarital affair with an undergraduate student, falsified reports and lies about papers she said she had published.
Dean Herbert Burhenn, Harman’s boss, told him to remove the negative review, and when Harman refused, Burhenn demoted him.
Tennessee’s whistleblower law protects employees from being fired if they refuse to perform illegal activities. Because Harman wasn’t fired, the Supreme Court ruled that he was not protected.

Cumberland Board Members Quit
Four of the five members on Cumberland County’s Health and Safety Standards Board, which deals with abandoned or neglected properties, have resigned in a dispute with the county commission, reports the Crossville Chronicle.
The members resigned after several county commissioners attended the meeting and at least three of them questioned committee members regarding operations, cases they were discussing and the procedures of the committee.
John Kinnunen, who served as chairman of the Health and Safety Standards Board said, “It was obvious that the underlying cause of the questioning was to eliminate the committee and save the county the $9,500 a year (budgeted) for the board. They feel they can pass the problems on to the Environmental Committee. It’s obvious they want to keep the county in the past and not progress into the future and to let people do whatever they want on their property and feel there is no need for the committee … We just decided that they were so adamant in their feelings that there was no reason for us to continue due to the lack of support from those commissioners. It was obvious they would continue criticizing whatever we do as a board in the future, so we resigned.”

Acquittal in Blog-inspired Assault Case
An assault case sparked by accusations of insults on a Loudon County blog ended in a not-guilty verdict for a Tellico Village resident, reports the News Sentinel.
Angelo Paul Leone, 69 was found not guilty of assaulting Tellico Village General Manager Winston Blazer during an August 21, 2009 incident at the Property Owners Association offices.
Leone — who feels he was harassed in the days before his arrest because he was among a group of residents who requested documents related to the management of the POA. — said he deserves an apology for being wrongly accused.
“It’s terrible, what they tried to do to me,” Leone said.

The assault charge grew out of a confrontation between Leone and Blazer over what Leone calls “the most vile and disgusting” defamations on a local Tellico Village blog known as Topix. The posts referenced Leone’s intentions to run for the board and also made references to his wife that he said were “of a sexual nature.”

GM Took State’s $17 Million, Then Went Away

As General Motors teetered on the brink of collapse nearly three years ago, it was able to tap an unexpected source of cash: the state of Tennessee, reports Chas Sisk.
The automotive giant received nearly $17 million — most of it in the week after executives disclosed the cash crisis that ultimately led to a federal bailout. The grants made GM the biggest single recipient of cash for job training from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, a database obtained by The Tennessean shows.
Part of the FastTrack incentive package that helped Tennessee bring production of the Chevy Traverse to GM’s Spring Hill plant, the grants were meant to train thousands of new workers who would hold down high-paying jobs for decades. But most of those jobs are no longer in Tennessee, as GM shifted production of the Traverse to Lansing, Mich., in 2009.
The outcome of the Traverse project in Spring Hill points out that there are few certainties behind the state’s efforts to spark economic development through incentive programs. While the announcement of investments generates optimism and headlines, downturns in the economy, business decisions and other factors can later sap projects of the touted benefits.
More than $250 million in incentives have been awarded for economic development through FastTrack and related programs, according to a database of more than 3,800 transactions dating back to 1999 and released by the department last month. Of that, $78 million has gone directly to companies for job training.
GM is not the only company to receive FastTrack job training grants, only to later pull back its presence in Tennessee. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Peterbilt Motors Co. also rank among the top 15 recipients of job training awards in that span; both have since laid off hundreds of workers.