Salute to and its workers

Feb. 23, 2011



What a difference a year makes
Chrysler in Kokomo filled with optimism as investments start to take hold

Chrysler, Marchionne committed to Kokomo
You “ put your money … where your confidence is”
by Lisa Fipps
managing editor

Future looks good for Local 685; Boruff proud of its members, page D5

The toughest jobs at Chrysler; these workers earn their paychecks, E1
CASTING SUCCESS — The Kokomo Casting Plant is the world’s largest die cast facility and has ramped up to create 600,000 transmission a year.
Perspective photo / Chrysler Group LLC

by Patrick Munsey
staff writer

Salute to Chrysler includes pages of photos of workers, page E6

Kokomo Casting Plant scores big with Pentastar, page F5

Each year, the leaders of Chrysler’s Kokomo operations — union and management — sit down with the Kokomo Perspective and share how the automaker is faring locally and globally. A year ago, that meeting was somber, cautious, and a little uncertain. A bankruptcy, massive government loans, and new ownership had everyone wondering what the future held and if the company would recover. What a difference a year makes. This time around, electricity flowed from person to person as they talked about a revitalized company. If they have anything to say about it, Chrysler is going to make a big impact in the auto market. The company is back and better than it has been in years. The Perspective was joined by a number of officials for a roundtable discussion about Chrysler in Kokomo The participants included: Mark McClain, human resources director for Indiana Transmission Plants (ITP) I and

Go online to see more of this story.
II; Jeremy Keating, plant manager of ITP II; Brian Garrison, plant manager of the Kokomo Casting Plant (KCP); Jason Lewis, employee relations for the Kokomo Transmission Plant (KTP); Brian Clark, plant manager for ITP I; Mike Butz, plant manager for KTP; George Maus, vice president of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 1302; Joe Per, complex manager for KTP and KCP; Rich Boruff, president of UAW Local 685; and Jerry Price, vice president of UAW Local 685. KP: We’ve heard about the $1 billion-plus investments coming. How much of that investment has been put into place to date? Per -- The rear-wheel drive transmission is probably first. As far as where we are, we’re buying equipment. We’re putting people in place. We’re developing launch teams. We’re clearing the plants. We’re engaging the workforce. We should see equipment installed by the end of the year, the

last quarter. And we plan on launching in the March-April timeframe of 2012. It’s a very compressed time schedule. Clark -- The front-wheel drive transmission is about four or five months behind the rear-wheel drive program, so we’re mostly in the rearrangement stage and planning stage. We have not ordered equipment yet. That is all timing. Garrison -- So, it’s really already started. For the rear-wheel drive at the casting plant, the retooling has already been ordered. That investment is starting to be spent. As Joe said, we won’t see anything running in the plants until at least September-October. Per -- Your first die will be in around August or September. What Brian will do is, he will get his case dies and things like that and starting doing run-off parts. KP -- A year ago, WCM was new. There was a lot of nervousness about the program. We got to see some of the changes that were taking place on the plant floor, and they were pretty impressive. How have you pro-


Chrysler had a great fall
Harlow: Marchionne put Humpty Dumpty back together again
by Lisa Fipps
managing editor

See Harlow’s bio on page D4

Gingerich talks about the Chrysler lineup, including the 200, page F6


A sign of the times at Indiana Transmission Plant I, page G1

IUK Chancellor impressed by Chrysler, union leaders, page G6

ith all the ups and downs of the auto ind u s t r y, workers often feel like they’re on a wild roller coaster ride. But when it comes to Chrysler, Brian Harlow doesn’t use the words “roller coaster” to describe what happened at the company over the past few years. He uses the words “Humpty Brian Harlow Dumpty.” vice president and “Humpty Dumpty fell off head of Powertrain the wall and broke into a Manufacturing bunch of pieces,” Harlow, Chrysler Group LLC vice president and head of Powertrain Manufacturing, said of the automaker. “It was that bad. For whatever reasons – you can blame the economy or whatever – we had a mess.” And he credits Sergio Marchionne, chief executive officer, for doing to Chrysler what all of the king’s horses and all of the king’s men couldn’t do in the nursery rhyme. Marchionne put Humpty Dumpty back together again. “In my perspective, it looked – I wouldn’t say unrecoverable, but if Sergio Marchionne hadn’t come along …” Harlow’s voice trailed off. “Somebody had to put it back together. I have not seen anybody like Sergio. I have not seen anything like what’s transpired since he took over.” And Harlow’s worked for Chrysler for 32 years. (See “About Brian Harlow,” page D4.)

“We expect our factories to run nonstop,” Harlow said. Headquarters never worked like that – until Marchionne. “The ethic Humpty Dumpty fell work wasn’t bad at off the wall and broke into a bunch of pieces. headquarters,” For whatever reasons — Harlow said. “But Sergio you can blame the works unbeeconomy or whatever — lievable hours, we had a mess. and headquarSomebody had to put it ters is working back together. I have not like it never has seen anybody like before. It Sergio. I have not seen works like a factory trying anything like what’s to put this thing transpired since he back together.” took over. And put it together, they did. Looking at the operating profit, Chrysler at first expected a break-even year in 2010. By the third quarter, Marchionne forecasted the automaker would have an operating profit of $700 million, which would have been quite an accomplishment. But it ended last year with an operating profit of $763 million – far better than anyone thought Chrysler could do. (It had a net loss of $652 million as it continues to pay off the high-interest loans the federal government gave Chrysler in 2009 as part of the bailout.) In addition to investing more than $1.3 billion in Kokomo, Chrysler Group has made significant

hen it comes to companies’ commitments to communities, there’s a lot of talk. But Chrysler Group LLC has put its money where its mouth is when it comes to its commitment to Kokomo. “One thing to point out when it comes to the importance of Kokomo to this company is that the $1.3 billion investment is the largest total investment the company made in 2010,” said Marchionne Jodi Tinson, manufacturing and labor communications. “Nowhere else in this country did we invest that kind of money. That’s an indication of our commitment. You put your money where your mouth is, where your confidence is.” The auGoodnight tomaker’s inv e s t m e n t immediately meant Chrysler workers in Kokomo’s four plants were called back to the plants and new workers were hired. “We had to crank up production of our six-speed transmissions more than we expected,” said Brian Harlow, vice president and head of Powertrain Manufacturing. “The casting plant is producing V6 blocks for our Pentastar V6 engine that go into essentially every vehicle we make. So the Kokomo Casting Plant’s contribution has been of paramount importance. In the last four or five months, we’ve increased the production capacity there from 440,000 to 600,000 a year. They are very much important to this increase. They’re making the castings for those transmissions and are integral in that just as ITP and KTP are entrenched.” In auto terms, the Kokomo Casting Plant (KCP), Kokomo Transmission Plant (KTP), Indiana Transmission Plant I (ITPI) and Indiana Transmission Plant II (ITPII) are running on all cylinders. •The ITPI currently produces the 45 RFE rear-wheel drive transmission for Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, Dodge Dakota and Ram Trucks and 68 RFE for Cummins Diesel, Heavy Duty. •ITP II produces the W5A580 5-speed transmission for the Chrysler 300, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, Dodge Nitro and Dodge Charger. •KTP makes the 62TE front-wheel drive transmission for the Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Avenger and Dodge Grand Caravan; 42RLE rear-wheel drive transmission for the Chrysler 300, Dodge Dakota, Dodge Charger, Dodge Nitro, Ram Trucks, Jeep Liberty and Jeep Wrangler; and the 40TE/41TE - 40TES/41TES front-wheel drive transmission for the Chrysler 200, Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Avenger and Dodge Grand Caravan. •The KCP manufactures aluminum parts for automotive components, transmissions and transaxle cases. And Kokomo will continue to be important to Chrysler, Harlow said. “The eight- and nine-speed transmissions that will be produced in Kokomo are taking us well into the next decade,” he said. The eight-speed rear-wheel-drive transmission and nine-speed front-wheel drive transmissions “will get us to the point where we’re meeting the fuel economy and emis-

See Marchionne’s bio on page D4



Kokomo Perspective

Feb. 23, 2011


Salute to Chrysler

About the four Kokomo Chrysler plants
Kokomo Casting Plant
1001 E. Boulevard Floor space: 625,000 square feet Acreage: 35 acres Products: aluminum parts for automotive components, transmission and transaxle cases Employment: 861 (790 hourly; 71 salaried) Union local: United Auto Workers Local No. 1166 and No. 1302 Plant history: World’s largest die cast facility. The plant was completed and began production in 1965 with expansions in 1969, 1986, 1995 and 1997. Chrysler Group announced in May 2010 that it would invest $43 million to adapt the plant for production of the World Engine and improve processes for the 62TE transmission program. Then in June, the company announced it would invest $300 million for production of a new, highly fuelefficient eight-speed automatic transmission for use in future Chrysler Group vehicles. Chrysler Group announced in November 2010 that it would invest $843 million for production of a future generation front-wheel drive automatic transmission for use in future Chrysler Group vehicles.

INSIDE VIEW — There are 861 workers (790 hourly and 71 salaried) at the Kokomo Casting Plant.
Perspective photo / Chrysler Group LLC

continued from page


progress toward building a successful enterprise since June 2009, including the following: •announcement of a $600 million investment in the Belvidere, Ill., Assembly Plant; •announcement of a $1 billion investment in the Sterling Heights, Mich., Assembly Plant and surrounding stamping facilities as well as the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA), Dundee, Mich., facility; •adding a second shift of production – or nearly 1,100 jobs – at the Jefferson North, Detroit, Assembly Plant; •announcement that Chrysler would add nearly 900 jobs on a second shift at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in the first quarter of

2011; •launch of the all-new 2011 Chrysler 200, Dodge Avenger and Dodge Durango in December 2010; •launch of the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee in May 2010; •announcement in December 2009 that it will invest $179 million to launch production of the 1.4-liter, 16valve Fully Integrated Robotized Engine (FIRE) at the GEMA in Dundee, creating more than 150 new Chrysler jobs; •January 2011 announcement of 10th consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases •launch of 2011 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger in January In fact, for the full year 2010, Chrysler Group launched 16 all-new or significantly refreshed vehicles. These vehicles included two new nameplates to the mar-

ket as well as 75 percent of the nameplates carried over from 2009. “It’s not just what you see on the exterior [of the product],” Harlow said. “The interiors are the best interiors we’ve ever had.” The transformation of Chrysler under Marchionne is a perfect example of how much more people can accomplish with a great leader. “He didn’t go out and hire a bunch of people,” Harlow said. “There are a few key Fiat people he brought in. But they’re not here ordering and directing. It’s still us doing the work. It’s the same people who were working” under Daimler-Benz starting in 1998 and Cerberus Capital Management in 2007. “I’ve watched him and been able to participate in helping Sergio. He listens. He decides. And we move. Clearly, the competency of the management team is ex-

tremely high. Car people are making decisions. The trust level is quite high. That is the model of taking people who were in the ditch and putting them in a position where they can get out and successfully deliver.” “Obviously, we have our job to do, and we are delivering,” Harlow said. “It’s a big turn from where we were headed before. The breadth of Sergio’s capability comes into play. We were in a meeting recently about a new product. There was a little, well, discussion. He said, ‘Hey, I’m an engineer.’ And he is. He’s also a lawyer. And an accountant. He has a breadth of knowledge. (See “About Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne on page D4.) He understands. He is a quick study. Yet he’s not an arrogant person. That’s what’s remarkable. He’s like anybody else. People here get to speak honestly and openly again.”

Kokomo Transmission Plant
2401 S. Reed Road Floor space: 3.1 million square feet Acreage: 110acre site with Kokomo Casting Plant Products: transmissions •62TE: FWD - Chrysler Town & Country, Chrysler 200, Dodge Avenger, Dodge Journey and Dodge Grand Caravan •42RLE: RWD - Chrysler 300, Dodge Dakota, Dodge Charger, Dodge Nitro, Ram Trucks, Jeep Liberty and Jeep Wrangler •40TE/41TE - 40TES/41TES: FWD - Chrysler 200, Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Avenger and Dodge Journey Employment: 2,345 (2,174 hourly; 171 salaried) Union local: UAW Local No. 685 and No. 1302 Plant history: Transmission plant completed and production began in 1956. There have been 12 expansions since then. Chrysler Group announced in May 2010 that it would invest $43 million to adapt the plant for production of the World Engine and improve processes for the 62TE transmission program. Then in June 2010, the company announced that it would invest $300 million to produce a new, fuel-efficient eight-speed automatic transmission for future Chrysler Group vehicles. An investment of an additional $85 million was announced in December 2010.

continued from page


sions regulations … as well as making vehicles buyers would like to have,” Harlow said. When asked if any products for Fiat are made locally, he said, “Not yet.” Then Harlow, who is a talker who goes into detail a lot, didn’t say anything else. Harlow, who was born and raised in Tipton County, is definitely committed to Kokomo’s operations. So is his boss, Scott Garberding, senior vice president and head of manufacturing. “Just two weeks ago he came down to Kokomo and spent the day,” Harlow said of Garberding. “He is a very big supporter of Kokomo. There are lots of people who are very supportive and helping along the way.” Most importantly, Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler

Group’s chief executive officer, is committed. “He came to town and was very supportive,” Harlow said of Marchionne. “He’s been very supportive of Kokomo from the start. He is the first CEO that I know of that understands the importance of the operations here.” Mayor Greg Goodnight speaks very highly of Marchionne. “No. 1, he has a record of success of turning Fiat around and has not only changed the company, but he’s changed the image of the company,” said Goodnight. “I think that is exactly what was needed at Chrysler. He has invested, obviously, here locally at unheard of levels in a short amount of time. I think he’s committed to our community. There are a lot of reasons why that’s the case. I don’t think there could be a better person running the company.”

Indiana Transmission Plant I
3660 N. U.S. 31 Floor space: 1.2 million square feet Acreage: 233 Products: •545 RFE RWD transmissions for Jeep® Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, Dodge Dakota and Ram Trucks •68 RFE for Cummins Diesel, Heavy Duty Employment: 1,558 (1,428 hourly, 130 salaried - combined with Indiana Transmission Plant II) Union local: UAW Local No. 685 Plant history: Plant completed and began production of transmissions in 1998. Chrysler Group announced in November 2010 that it would invest $843 million for production of a future generation front-wheel drive automatic transmission for use in future Chrysler Group vehicles.

Indiana Transmission Plant II
3360 N. U.S. 31 Floor space: 600,000 square feet Acreage: 61 acres Product: W5A580 – 5-speed transmission for the Chrysler 300, Jeep® Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, Dodge Nitro, Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger. Employment: 1,558 (1,428 hourly, 130 salaried - combined with Indiana Transmission Plant I) Robotics: 34 Union local: U.A.W. Local No. 685 and No. 1302 Plant history: Construction of the facility began in 2002 and the plant launched production in November 2003. Chrysler Group announced in November 2010 that it would invest $843 million for production of a future generation front-wheel drive automatic transmission for use in future Chrysler Group vehicles.

February 23, 2011 Kokomo Perspective Page D3

The members of UAW 685 are committed to building Kokomo’s future.



Kokomo Perspective

Feb. 23, 2011

About Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne
Sergio Marchionne was named chief executive officer of Chrysler Group LLC in June 2009. On Jan. 1, 2011, Marchionne was appointed chairman of Fiat Industrial S.p.A, resulting from the demerger with Fiat S.p.A and maintains his role as CEO of Fiat S.p.A. Previously, Marchionne was appointed chairman of Case New Holland (CNH) in April 2006 and CEO of Fiat Group Automobiles in February 2005. He was appointed CEO of Fiat S.p.A. in June 2004 and has been a member of the board since May 2003. His work and academic background includes the following: •2011, chairman of Fiat Industrial S.p.A, including Iveco and Fiat Powertrain •2009, CEO, Chrysler Group LLC •2006, chairman, CNH •2006 (current), chairman, SGS Group of Geneva •2005, CEO, Fiat Group Automobiles •2004, CEO, Fiat S.p.A. •2003, member of the board, Fiat S.p.A. •2002, CEO, SGS Group of Geneva •2002, chairman, Lonza Group Ltd. •2000, CEO, chairman, Lonza Group Ltd. •1994, various positions of increasing responsibility until becoming CEO, Algroup •1992, vice president of legal and corporate development and CEO, Lawson Group •1990, vice president of finance and chief financial officer, Acklands Ltd. •1989, executive vice president, Glenex Industries •1985, group controllerdirector of corporate development, Lawson Mardon Group •1983, accountant and tax specialist, Deloitte & Touche In 2010, he joined the board of directors of Exor S.p.A. Marchionne also serves as a member of the board of Philip Morris International Inc. and a member of the General Council of Confindustria (the employers association of Italy), of Assonime (the association of Italian corporates), and of ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers Association). He is a permanent member of the Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli. He is also a member of the board of the Peterson Institute for International Economics and the chairman of the Italian Branch of the Council for the United States in Italy. Marchionne continues to serve as chairman of SGS SA headquartered in Geneva. He previously served as the non-executive vice chairman and senior independent director for UBS. Marchionne is a barrister, solicitor and chartered accountant. He obtained a Bachelor of Laws from Osgood Hall Law School at York University in Toronto, Canada. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Windsor, Canada. Marchionne is a recipient of a degree ad honorem in industrial engineering and management from Polytechnic University in Turin and a master’s degree honoris causa from the CUOA Foundation. He also has a degree in economics honoris causa from the University of Cassino, and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Windsor. Marchionne also holds the honor of Cavaliere del Lavoro. Marchionne was born in Chieti, Italy, and has dual Canadian and Italian citizenship.

Salute to Chrysler

continued from page


gressed with the program; how far do you have to go? Garrison -- A long way to go. We’re learning every day. It is as challenging as we thought it was going to be. When you met with us last year, it was new to us. Clark -- The expectation is world class. When you think of world-class athletes, that is a high bar to reach. There is a lot of room to grow. Butz -- It’s a continuing process, and it’s one that has milestone audits along the way to check our progress in implementing WCM. It’s really a never-ending continuum to get and stay at world-class levels in productivity and quality, in worker engagement. KP - Has the corporation given you good feedback? Are they pleased with the progress in the plants? Garrison -- Yes. There is a central team at CTC that is involved with us, as well as the external audits that take place on a routine basis. Keating -- In scoring, our division has done pretty well. We just had an audit, and we were second only to GEMA (Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance). Clark -- I would say, for Kokomo, our progression is going in the right direction. Butz -- I think our auditors certainly have acknowledged the involvement of our workforce in WCM. With our team members making a commitment in improved quality and throughput and loss reduction, certainly that aspect comes out in our audits. One of the reasons we have done as well as we have has been the engagement of our people. KP -- What level of buy-in have we seen from the hourly workers? Boruff -- Kokomo employees have always stepped up to any program that’s been thrown at them and really achieved well. When I first started this job nine years ago, we were winning awards

for what the workers had done. KP -- In the past, there has been much talk about how well the hourly workforce and management have worked together. Is that partnership still important to this process. Keating -- Moreso. Butz -- Absolutely. Our goals are the same. We all want to achieve our goals as a plant, have full employment in Kokomo, work together to produce the best-quality transmissions in the world. We are aligned together. If we don’t, we can’t achieve our goals. It would be like to guys in a rowboat, rowing in different directions. You just spin in circles. We have tough targets that our corporation is asking us to achieve at all of our plants in Kokomo. Without Richie and the team, we couldn’t do it. KP -- What’ll Chrysler look like here a year from now? Garrison -- From the street it may not look different. We will be taking off a year from now, with the new rear-wheel drive and front-wheel drive transmissions coming. It will be a very busy time. Maus -- Maybe two years from now would be a better time to look at it. Boruff -- KTP will be flipped upside-down in about half of the plant. Garrison -- So will KCP. All of our products will be phased out for the new rearwheel drive and front-wheel drive programs. Per -- ITP I will be accepting new equipment this time next year. Price -- Hopefully, we’ll be selling so many vehicles we can’t keep up. It would be a good problem to have. KP -- You have seen volumes increase over the past 12 months. It’s a lot busier in your plants today, isn’t it? Clark -- We just made a volume adjustment last week at ITP I. We added another 150 units. Keating -- The whole point of the eight- and nine-speed

transmissions is to produce the best in the world. Who is making eight- and ninespeeds right now? Fiat looked at it as we can’t afford just to compete. We could come out with another six-speed or another seven-speed. But if we ever want to surpass the competition, we have to think further down the road. KP -- If there is one thing that you would people to know about what is going on in your plants today, what would it be? Garrison -- I would want them to know about the enthusiasm and energy that our people have to bring Chrysler back to full volume again. A year and a half ago, if you asked anybody would we be where we’re sitting today, there wouldn’t have been a single person, including myself, who would have said we’d be anywhere close. Clark -- Take a page out of the President’s speech last fall. Don’t bet against us. Don’t bet against the American worker. Don’t bet against Chrysler. Per -- And never forget where we were. Going forward, never forget. Too many times we take our eye off the ball. People might think this is easy to get over, but it hasn’t been. It could have been devastating. So, don’t forget where we were, and use it as enthusiasm and focus and drive to launch a world-class product with high excitement. Price -- The bankruptcy woke up a lot of people. You get to taking stuff for granted and think it will never happen here. It came pretty close. It can happen here. We almost out of job. That has changed attitudes a little bit. But anytime a change has been thrown at the workers, they’ve put their arms around it. They understand it is their livelihood, and they want to keep the work here. Maus -- There is a more serious attitude toward participation. Price -- We have to sell vehicles. We’re on a good run, and we have to keep it up.

About Brian Harlow
Brian Harlow has worked at Chrysler for 32 years. In June 2009, he was appointed vice president-head of Powertrain Manufacturing Operations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Purdue University and a master’s degree in management from Indiana Wesleyan University. He started his career with Chrysler in 1978 as a plant engineer at the Kokomo Transmission Plant. He held several positions at the facility as well as the Indiana Transmission Plant (ITP), where he became manufacturing manager in 1998. Beginning in 2000, he moved to Chrysler headquarters, in Auburn Hills, Mich., where he has held the following positions: •director–staff manufacturing engineering, 20002001 •director–advance manufacturing engineering powertrain operations, 2001-2005 •general manager–transmission/casting/ machining, 2005-2009 •head of powertrain operations and core team leader, 2009 He and his wife of 32 years, Rachelle, have three children. The oldest, Adrianne, is associate head coach of the Southern Illinois University women’s basketball team. Their son, Benjamin, was recently married to Jenée and is a veteran of the 82nd Airborne and served two terms in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their youngest, Shanna, is married to Nate, and they have recently returned from Ethiopia with their newly adopted son. Harlow is an avid Purdue Fan and loves to play the piano for his church.

Feb. 23, 2011

Kokomo Perspective

Salute to Chrysler


Future for Local 685 looking good
Boruff proud of members, wants to see people, company prosper
by Patrick Munsey
staff writer


here are more smiles in the halls of United Auto Workers Local 685 than there have been in years. Chrysler is rebounding from a near-fatal bankruptcy, and more than $1.2 billion in new investment has been pledged to the transmission plants in Kokomo. Local president Rich Boruff places a good deal of credit for the good news on the shoulders of his membership. “We’re going to be the best, and by being the best, the company will bring more work to Kokomo,” said Boruff. “The skill of the workers is why they bring the work here. Not Mexico. Not Detroit. Not Canada. They could have taken it other places, but the reason they brought the work here is the skill of the worker.” That quality translated into new hires last summer. Vacation replacement workers were hired off the streets just a year after the entire company shut down operations. Unfortunately, those temporary workers are not in the plant today, but there is opportunity for their return. “We have all of the seniority people working,” said Boruff. “The company laid off the summer replacements, though they actually held them on longer than the contractual language said they had to. But it’s a minor hit. It’s a dip we go through about every year. They’ll be back by the first week of April.” Full employment at Chrysler’s facilities in Kokomo is a reality. No sooner did they return to work, they were hit with a massive new program — World Class Manufacturing (WCM). It’s a philosophy that reshapes every aspect of production, and it promises to improve the quality of the workplace along with the product. “In the past, with DaimlerChrysler’s Total Production Maintenance, they had all these plans we were going to do,” said Boruff. “We saw improvements, but we couldn’t sustain them as we migrated the program across the facilities. We are still launching World Class Manufacturing but from what we have seen so far is amazing. As we expand, I believe we will be able to sustain this program. It’s a better process. “The beast about it is changing the processes that have been there forever. There is a lot of ground to cover to get everything back to basic conditions. When we flip the facilities for the new transmissions, it will be much easier to maintain. We’re going to see some good stuff happen. People will be able to work in an environment they’ve never had before.” WCM mandated better working conditions, better production processes, better product quality. The members of Local 685 are doing their part to hit the goals set by the program. Boruff, however, holds concerns about how his fellow unionists will be treated in the future. The collective bargaining agreement between the union and the company expires on Oct. 29, and there are issues to discuss. Boruff was elected chairman of the national bargaining committee for the UAW-Chrysler locals. He will head to Detroit this summer to lead the negotiating team. He has some priorities in mind for the new agreement. “If we don’t do anything at the table other than recapture some of the concessions that were made at the expense of our retirees, we have to do that,” said Boruff. “The other

thing is to reaffirm the voice of the worker. Nobody has more knowledge about the process than the guy doing the job.” This negotiation will be different. The union cannot strike through 2015 as a condition of the loans from the federal government. Those loans will impact every aspect of the new agreement unless they can be retired beforehand. “We owe the government $7.4 billion,” said Boruff. “If we follow GM’s trend of offering stock with a good reception for the Initial Public Offering, we can address that. I think it will happen. I wish people could walk through

the plant and see the improvements. It would give them more confidence to invest in us. “(Fiat and Chrysler CEO) Sergio (Marchionne) wants to offer the stock by June, and he wants to buy controlling interest in the company before that happens. That’s what we want, too. We want a car guy to take control of this corporation. We don’t ever want to get in a situation again where we aren’t owned by a car guy. He wants us to be the best. When this guy sits across from us and says that, I feel like he’s speaking from the heart. He wants nothing but good things for us.” Primary among those good

thing that the new hires cannot necessarily do, he explained. “New people hire in at $14.65 an hour; what can they buy at $14.65 an hour,” said Boruff. “A used car, and you hope they have the loyalty to buy one of our products. The least expensive Chrysler products don’t have transmissions that are made here. They’re GETTING THE JOB DONE — made in Belvedere, Ill. There are 1,558 employees (1,428 We have to support hourly, 130 salaried) at ITP I and each other, but how ITP II combined. you do that when Perspective photo / Chrysler can’t afford to buy product you make? things, in Boruff’s opinion, is We want a sound business the ability to purchase Chrysler products. It’s some- more than anybody, but

we’d also like to be able to buy our own products. “Henry Ford was a genius. He said a man should support family and buy the product he makes. His wife should be able to stay home if she chooses to instead of being forced into work to support the family. That’s where we went wrong. “The working class has been sold out by politicians. Until we start speaking up and saying we’re done electing people interested only in themselves, we are never going to fix this problem. You have to stand up. We need a revolution of working class people. We’re not going to tolerate having our standard of living taken down.”

Page D6 Kokomo Perspective February 23, 2011

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful