Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Business

October 29, 2012

Cequent workers stage protest in Goshen

GOSHEN — “Keep our jobs in America!” shouted one angry Cequent worker, a member of the local United Steelworkers union.

“Made in the U.S.A.!” shouted another.

Drivers honked their vehicles and members of the community shouted their support as Cequent Performance Products workers picketed along U.S. 33 near the entrance to the plant Monday afternoon.

Local union vice president Deb Hathaway said the picketers —  and Cequent workers in general — have felt the support of the community ever since Cequent’s parent company, TriMas, announced Oct. 18 that the production lines at the Goshen plant may move to Reynosa, Mexico, putting around 450 jobs in jeopardy.

“This means a lot to have their support,” Hathaway said. “This doesn’t just impact the 450 workers here at Cequent — it impacts the whole community.”

Many of the picketers have worked for Cequent for several years. Mark Schmanski has worked for the company for nearly 20 years. He said he’s never missed a day of work.

“I was shocked for the first couple of days after I heard (the announcement),” Schmanski said. “Now I’m angry. This building has made millions and millions and millions for this company. I would understand moving the jobs if this was not profitable, but this is just about greed.”

Schmanski said no one from TriMas came down to the plant to tell the workers, but rather someone from the plant’s management made the announcement.

Employees weren’t the only ones on the picket lines Monday. Brendan Mullen, the Democratic candidate for Indiana’s U.S. District 2 House seat, was at the protest alongside USW workers.

“I’m here today because we need to keep Hoosier jobs here,” Mullen said. “For this company with such extraordinary profits to ship jobs overseas is unacceptable.”

Picketer Ed Christie said he has worked for Cequent for nearly 19 years, and his family depends heavily on his income from Cequent. The announcement of the plant’s potential closure was also a shock to him.

“I felt blindsided,” he said. “But I also feel like I knew something was up. The company has seemed evasive for a while.”

Complete with a sign and a loud voice, Christie seemed a through-and-through union man Monday afternoon. He said this is normally not the case, but he felt the need to stand with his fellow employees Monday.

“This is a complete switch. I’m normally not a union person,” Christie said. “But I felt like I needed to stand as one voice with the rest of these people. I’m not against the company — this is about us wanting to be acknowledged. I know at a corporate level, they’re going to make choices based on a balance sheet. They just wouldn’t have those numbers on the balance sheet without us.

“It’s not because we’re not doing our jobs. It’s that they can get more money in Mexico,” he continued. “... I think the quality of product will decline.”

While TriMas’ announcement called the potential move to Mexico a “preliminary recommendation,” with a final announcement coming sometime in November, many employees don’t see a way the company will stay in Goshen. According to TriMas spokesperson Alan Upchurch, the company will announce when it has made a formal decision. No other statements have been made available at this time.

Steven Medford is a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Medford said the steadiest employment he’s seen since he left the Army has been his last two years at Cequent, but he’s afraid that’s coming to an end.

“I think it’s wrong,” he said. “They make enough money off of us, how can they put so many people out of work? My first comment after I heard was, ‘I’m going to lose everything,’ because I have three kids in Texas with their mother, and I send them support and have my house here.

“If I lose my job, I’ll lose everything. I don’t think (TriMas) will keep the jobs here, but we can at least say we tried,” he said, looking around to the other picketers.

National United Steelworkers Union District 7 Sub-District Director Mike O’Brien said he spoke with Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman Monday afternoon. Kauffman understands where the union members are coming from, O’Brien said.

“The mayor is sympathetic to our position,” he said. “He understands the issues very well, but, to be frank, I don’t know how much pressure he can exert on a huge corporation. We’re going to do everything we can to keep those jobs in Goshen.”

O’Brien, who helped initially organize the local USW union, said he hopes people learn from this.

“The people making these decisions must have never read Charles Dickens,” O’Brien said. “It’s like ‘A Christmas Carol,’ and making these announcements right before Christmas is a little bit like Ebenezer Scrooge.”

 

1
Text Only
Business
  • BIZ GN140801 eby ford image 02 Eby Ford renovates showroom and more GOSHEN — The remodeled and expanded Eby Ford, Lincoln, Mercury dealership was celebrated Thursday night during an open house and ribbon cutting. “Without our awesome customers, we wouldn’t be here,” said owner Todd Eby as he addressed the crowd of fr

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Economy GDP-3 [Duplicate] U.S. economy heating up First quarter growth hits 4 percent

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • BIZ GN0731 soapy gnome image 02 Soapy Gnome offers sustainable skin-care products GOSHEN — You can smell the fragrant products in the Soapy Gnome shop before you get to the front door. Tucked in a walkdown storefront at East Lincoln Avenue, at 111B, Jenny Frech and her husband Jeremy Friesen recently moved the store to the locati

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • BIZ GN0730 Growing kids daycare image New day care center will open in August GOSHEN — There’s a Main Street in downtown Goshen and now there’s another, shorter Main Street in Goshen. The new road is located inside the new Growing Kids Learning Center.The newly-built center is located at Elkhart Road and C.R. 17. The day care

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Digital Life Review Amazon Phone-9 [Duplicate] Amazon Fire breaks ground for phones NEW YORK — What I find fascinating about Amazon’s Fire phone isn’t the gizmos such as the 3-D imagery or the camera scanner that helps you get more information about products.Rather, I like that Amazon is thinking a lot about how phones ought to work

    July 28, 2014 5 Photos

  • News and South Bend Tribune reach delivery agreement GOSHEN — The Goshen News announced today it has reached an agreement with the South Bend Tribune to have its newspaper carriers deliver the Goshen News in Elkhart, LaGrange and Kosciusko counties. According to Publisher Ron Smith, the agreement will

    July 28, 2014

  • BIZ GN140727 urban gypsy image Crafters open Urban Gypsy & Co in Goshen GOSHEN — A shop filled with colorful and fragrant items along East Lincoln Avenue has become part of the growing arts and artisan culture in the city.Urban Gypsy & Co. is at 111 E. Lincoln Ave.Missy Wrathell, Elkhart, and McKenzie Beiler and Kristin

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • PicPlayPost: App to create dynamic collages If you have a smartphone, you’ve likely seen and used various photo collage apps that allow you to add multiple photos that are then combined into one image collage. There are many to choose from and they all work about the same.PicPlayPost is differ

    July 27, 2014

  • Fast Food Workers Convention-3 [Duplicate] Fast food workers push wage hike CHICAGO — Fast food workers say they’re prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers are expected to discuss the future of the ef

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supreme Industries reports improved quarter GOSHEN — Supreme Industries Inc. reported Thursday its second quarter sales and income were up. The company, which makes specialized commercial vehicles, reported its consolidated net sales from continuing operations grew to $71.6 million in the seco

    July 24, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Poll

Classes at Goshen Community Schools and St. John the Evangelist Catholic School will begin the 2014-15 school year on Thursday, Aug. 7. School corporations throughout the state have been trending toward earlier start dates the past few years. When do you think school should start?

I think early August is a good time to start
I think later in August would be a good time to start
I think school should start after Labor Day
     View Results