Friday, September 14, 2018

the last book I ever read (Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein, excerpt four)

from Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein:

As he went through all these goodbyes, Mike understood that it was not just Lear Corp., which would file for bankruptcy that summer. Not even just Lear and General Motors, which had always been resented by many workers at the suppliers in the area for having the best pay and vacation benefits, even though amalgamated UAW Local 95 included them all. General Motors was resented but acknowledged as essential, because, if not for the assembly plant, a lot of other jobs wouldn’t have existed and, now that GM was closing, jobs were disappearing all around town. Two days before Christmas, the day that GM and Lear stopped production, so did the 159 employees of Logistics Services, Inc., a warehouse that sequenced parts and delivered them to the assembly plant. So did Allied Systems Group, whose 117 workers suddenly stopped hauling GM vehicles to car dealers through the Midwest. And nearby in Brodhead, seventy workers at the Woodbridge Group stopped making the foam to be delivered to Lear, where it was stuffed into seats for GM. Woodbridge’s other ninety-nine workers would be laid off when that factory, too, closed by spring. No, it wasn’t only GM and Lear that, by February, pushed up Rock County’s unemployment rate to 13.4 percent.

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