24 comments

  1. Erick says:

    Perhaps the airport will get the property. Surely some elected official’s child somewhere works for a company that wants a corruption ladled contract from the airport authority.

  2. Cynthia says:

    Huh, maybe a conference call wasn’t enough to keep the plant open Sonny. Canadian officials met with Ford at 7am this morning and their plant was saved. The governor of Minnesota met with Ford officials and their plant was saved. Clearly there was more that could have been done and Sonny just flat out didn’t step up to the plate. We need a leader who actually works hard to keep jobs in Georgia.

  3. Cynthia says:

    No. Obviously that’s not what I’m saying Buzz.

    But if they’re going to keep some of the plants open why not fight to have Hapeville be one of them? I would rather have a leader who would at least make the ATTEMPT to be an effective advocate then one who is resigned to the situation. No wonder Georgia is losing jobs at a much faster rate than the rest of the country.

  4. Mike says:

    Amen Harry. If it were not for UAW contracts negotiated over the threat of a strike, Ford and GM might actually be able to compete in the global market.

  5. HeartofGa says:

    Please, working families are going to take the hit here. Plus, it appears to me that there will significant impact to the Georgia economy. Is Sonny single-handedly responsible for this? No, and neither is the UAW. Thing is, I don’t get a chance to vote on the UAW in November, but I do get to vote for Governor, and Sonny will not get that vote.

    Sonny does not have a good track record in terms of protecting jobs in Georgia. The Chrysler plant slated for Pooler is now going to SC. Despite clear indications of merger between RJR and Brown and Williamson, we sat on our laurals and voted for taxes on their product while NC moblized all resources to make sure RJR stayed in Winston. Now, with Ford, it appears that Sonny folded his hand when he still had an opportunity to make an appeal. This is not the kind of leadership I want and certainly underscores the problem with the decline in high-paying jobs in Georgia and the fact that in 2005 Georgia’s unemployment rate exceeded the national average for the first time in more than a decade. We need a Governor who will fight for Georgia jobs.

  6. Mike says:

    The product that this plant made was being DISCONTINUED. We were a natural fit for closing. Sonny had enough sense to realize this and avoid spending more time and money chasing a lost cause just to make a few people feel better.

    A few thousand jobs will hardly have a “significant impact” on the Georgia economy. Beyond Hapeville, this is a non-inssue.

    Do you acutally believe that a governor who has been in office only a couple of years has managed to affect unemployment one way or the other?

    By the way. What exactly is a “working family”.

  7. Brian from Ellijay says:

    Cynthia way to read Cathys talking points. I got that email too. Does’t make it right.

    Heartof GA, were you ever going to vote for Sonny in the first place? NO.

  8. kspencer says:

    Yep, it’s all the UAWs fault. After all, they’ve actually agreed to about 75% reduction in pay and benefits (net) over the past four years, while the top 1% of Ford has had significant increases in income. But it’s the union’s fault.

    bah.

    Me, I wonder if keeping the plant would have really done any good over the long haul. Ford’s doing an awful lot to replicate the path of GM. It’s posting another loss this year – larger than last year’s loss of over 1 billion dollars. The company’s PR department blames overproduction, which I suppose is a sneaky way to twist the fact that they sold fewer vehicles this year than last (for three years running). Gotta be the manufacturing, not the design.

    It’s going to hurt. Yes, 2100 jobs is miniscule in itself for Atlanta, but it’s not so small for Hapeville. And a big concentration of suddenly unemployed workers in one town of the Atlanta metroplex will have a spillover effect on the rest of the area.

  9. macongop says:

    First off, How many of you own a car or truck that is made by either Ford or GM? I don’t, I’m going to spend my money on a product that I want and is going to hold onto its value. The problem with Ford and GM is their products do not really make me want to go out and spend any money on them. I’m a GM man. I’ve owned 4 different vehicles in the last ten years, but there is just not much that I would want to buy now. Don’t blame just the UAW. Look at the overhead from the white collar jobs also. Look at all the Bean counters they have. Remeber the UAW brought wages up and the standard of living up over the years. This helped everybody. Mike, you are wrong about this not having an effect beyond the Hapeville plant, it will effect the whole area. Look at the Macon and Middle Georgia area with the Brown & Williamson closing. That was over 3000 jobs at one point and $6 million dollars to the local coffers tax basis. That money has to be made up somewhere. The water bills and property taxes going up effect everybody.

  10. Bull Moose says:

    Okay, I’m sticking to my pledge of calling them like I see them. The Governor should have made the trip to Ford — end of discussion.

    In politics, image is everything, and the Governor should have given the impression that he was going to the mat to save jobs and ensure the plant stayed open. He didn’t do it. Why, who knows.

    I almost feel confident that Sonny himself, without his advisors, probably wanted to go up there, but someone talked him out of it or suggested it would be a waste of time.

    I’m dissapointed, but we’ll see what happens to the plant and whether or not it turns out that something better comes about as a result of this incident.

  11. emily says:

    Cynthia’s right about Sonny’s role. Blaming all administrations prior with no blame going his way is off-base. If the argument is that “he can’t do anything about it,” then why elect him in the first place? If he’s not even going to try, who is supposed to? I think he has an obligation to get up there and fight for Georgia jobs! These men and women making $25/hour are not only out of job in the short-term, but are more likely to move on to lower paying positions. Sonny had an obligation to get up there and fight for them! I’d like to know what he spent his weekend doing instead.

  12. HeartofGa says:

    1) No, I was never going to vote for Sonny, but it is not his party affiliation that governs that decision, but rather his poor performance. I have voted for both democrats and republicans in the past. This situation and his failure to even make an effort underscores the fact that his style of leadership is not what we need. I compare this choice to his decision to travel to the GOP grassroots training in Athens the same weekend he ordered schools closed for the potential fuel shortage. He can go to his party meeting but can’t make time, in this situation, for a face to face converstation. Is he more concerned about governing or getting re-elected?

    2) Working famlies, in my vocabulary, are folks who go to work everyday and draw a check that their family then uses to live. I would draw a contast between working famlies and the few famlies who exist on their investment income or their inherited wealth.

    3) If we approach every plant closing with the attitude that “a few thousand jobs” won’t effect Georgia’s economy, no wonder we are bleeding high paying jobs.

    People vote what they live, and in the Mid-State where we have seen the parade of plant closings- B&W, Keebler, Bassett- I could go on- folks are not “feeling” the bright economic forecast Sonny touts. Thank goodness for Bass Pro and a few other bright spots, but the void remains. Already in Bibb County, more than 40% of the people have no health insurance. Lack of good jobs contributes to that grim stat. And guess who picks up the tab?

  13. Cynthia says:

    Mike, its a sad commentary on Sonny’s term if his best defense regarding the declining economic situation in Georgia is that he’s irrelevent. Why would we want another four years of such ineffectual governance?

    Bull Moose, I appreciate your honesty.

  14. landman says:

    People please unlike what you political junkies would like to think some things are not determined by political office holders.There is nothing that Sonny or any other Governor could have done to save this plant.The company as a whole is leaking oil bad and the plant closings and layoffs are balance sheet driven and nothing else.

    This was probably one of the easier calls to make once you look at the circumstances at the Hapeville Plant.The product was discontinued so nothing short of Sonny designing a new model himself and throwing prison labor out there to do the re-tooling would have gotten even a consideration.Sonny did the proper thing and that is not waste taxpayer money flying around everywhere trying to talk a private company out of what is a prudent move for their company and their stockholders.

    Heart-Sonny made the absolute right call on the Diamler-Chrsyler deal.The scale of the operation had decreased trastically and they were demanding the same concessions.It would have been a Major Mistake to place them in the Mega-site with what they were bringing.It is too good of a site to ruin on a small operation like what is being located in South Carolina.

  15. Chris says:

    I agree with Bull. No matter how much I dislike it, Sonny should have wasted the tax payer’s money to fly to Detroit.

    Cynthia, do you have a source for the claim that jobs are leaving Georgia? Everything I hear is that the Georgia population is booming, mostly from people moving into this state from the north east and mid west. If the jobs are leaving what are all these new people doing?

  16. Chris says:

    One more comment about the UAW. I can’t fault the UAW for trying to get the sweetest deal it can for its members. That is its purpose in life. Its niche in the environment.

    What I do fault is the government for interfering with what should be a private contract between labor and stockholders. Laws have tilted the balance of power in the favor of unions. Except, of course, where unions work for the government. Then they pass laws preventing the unions from striking.

    This isn’t 1900, when management controlled access to the lawers and the courts. There are plenty of people willing and able to defend workers in contract disputes. The Government’s “help” is no longer needed – and it is often harmful.

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