Yes, it’s finally true. I’ve joined the ranks of the retired. I signed the papers today and as of the first of October am officially retired from Delphi/General Motors/Harrison Radiator.

Thirty years at the same plant. It’s funny how much it’s the same in some ways and how much it’s changed in others.

When I first came to work there, it was Harrison Radiator. It was owned by GM, but it’s own seperate division. By and large, it was a Lockport operation and the people who were in charge, were Lockport people. Things were different when people were dealing with their neighbors and families. Sure, some accusations of nepotism were tossed around, but you could always count on an open door, and deal with any problems face to face, man to man and be treated fairly.

And if not, a strong union presence was there to back you up.

It’s a long way from today where management treats the workers with contempt, refuses to discuss anything, and deals with everything with rules, “programs” and disciplinary action. The union is in a shambles, with a Shop Chairman who acts unilaterally without consulting the rest of the shop committee. He has no union experience and looks for all the world like he was hand-picked by the company. The shop committee has lost so many experienced people and the newer ones only want to cater to the new hires. The district committemen are so demorialized by the lack of help from the shop committee, they are ineffective. Management is having a heyday getting away with everything.

I’m glad to be getting out. Even if I end up poor and have to work another job somewhere, the way things are going there, it’s just a matter of time until the place self-destructs. The loss of experienced people through retirements, flowbacks and buyouts is going to make the place almost impossible to run.

The one thing, though, that you can count on is that when it all implodes, someone in Troy MI, will stand up before the press and blame the workers.