Sunday, October 26, 2008

Whew! Lot's going on

Wow, two weeks since my last post. But I've talked to my parents since so they know I'm still alive. They use the blog to keep track of what is happening up north.

Actually, a lot of things. First, last week I was out visiting Jason, Emily, and Oliver for the weekend. Flew out Thursday evening and back on Sunday evening. As you can imagine the three hour time difference to Spokane was not easily adjusted to in such a short time. But while I was there we had a great time and there new place really looks great. They have been doing a lot of work on it and it shows. It was also nice to see my grandson again and watch him walking now. They grow up so fast!

Those in Michigan, and especially the Detroit area, know about the dire straights that the auto industry is in. Of course in the news lately is what will become of Chrysler; will we become part of GM or Renault/Nissan? And in any case what will happen to our jobs. The predictions are not pretty.

If GM were to get Chrysler they would probably let go 15,000 of the 17,000 or so salaried employees. Even with another company buying us there would be jobs lost. And Cerberus, our current owner, has admitted they want to shed our company. So something is coming but we don't know yet.

Friday morning we got an e-mail from the company president talking about hard times in the industry, etc. etc. Basically leading up to telling us that by the end of the year we would be losing 25% of the salaried and supplemental workers. That's a lot but I think just the tip of the iceberg compared to what may be coming. included in the e-mail was a notice about enhanced buyouts and retirement packages. Unfortunately no details as they were supposed to be announced this week.

We do know that they lowered the age for packages and have added deals for others not eligible for retirement. The deals include cash and a car voucher. I don't know if that means giving up any claim to future benefits though. In any case I should find out tomorrow what my options are since I am one of those able to take advantage of something. I just don't know what that will mean. But it could mean we end up leaving the area. As you can imagine, I'm not getting a lot sleep right now.

On a brighter note, today was the benefit race at the Lake Orion High School. The run did not get a big turnout but I was pleased with the number of the bikers that came out. We got some of the top racers, both male and female, to race and they all had good things to say about the course. The weather was cool and overcast for the advanced and sport race but the beginners got rain, hail, and sunshine. They finished muddied but with smiles on their faces. The biggest winner of the day was the food bank. We raised close to $1000 plus the food that was donated. So thanks to everyone that donated or sponsored the race. Hopefully this becomes an annual event.

Looking at Spokane from the deck on the house.

Looking the other way across the fields is Mt. Spokane

This old barn is adjacent to the house

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