The Rochester plant, which mainly manufactures fuel rails and injectors, may see its manufacturing work transferred to a supplier by 2021.
While UAW chair Todd Campanella, who represents approximately 866 hourly workers in Local 1097, broke the news to the plant’s employees, GM spokesperson Mary Ann Brown said that it’s too early to determine the employment impact of this decision. Brown suggested that while some manufacturing work may be transferred to other suppliers, the Rochester plant may see an increased business in oil pans, manifolds, and all engine components.
Campanella, as reported in the Democrat & Chronicle, notes that many of the workers he represents will need to be re-trained. In the Rochester area, this phenomenon of qualified middle skills candidates looking for work in a tight employment market is called the “middle skills gap.”
While many young workers have a background in newer technology, the older generation of workers must learn these new skills or wait for baby boomers to enter retirement to fill their positions.
The UAW doesn’t have much power in this case, as Campanella’s only move is to bring up the issue of future employment for the plant workers at the next contract negotiation.
Despite GM’s potential business decision and the state of Rochester’s economy, Campanella is confident in the employee’s skills and believes they will find work outside of GM’s plant in the near future.
Production at the facility first began in 2007 as part of a deal with Delphi Corporation, which GM spun off in 1999. After Delphi’s bankruptcy, GM purchased the plant in 2009.