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Bedford Heights, OH, United States, 2007/01/24 - Delphi Automotive’s downsizing throws employees a curveball inspiring musician/electrician Jeff Stone to tell the tale in a song with his new CD Single release Curveball.
When automotive giant Delphi dropped the bomb on its employees last year about their impending bankruptcy, employees found it difficult to believe that this would not be the company they would someday be able to retire from. Jeff Stone was one of those employees going through the plague attacking many businesses today of having to be globally wage competitive. Coping with the stress of losing his job, he found solace in doing what he does best, writing it down in a song.
In his song Curveball, he reflects “Just when I think I thought I knew it all.” There was a certain comfort in working for such a large corporation in this country. Somehow you just knew that you would be able to put in your 30 years of work, and retirement was a given.
Then “Life changes up and throws me a curveball” Jeff sings. Plants will be closed, wages and benefits will be drastically cut, and two thirds of the employees must lose their jobs. How could the nation’s largest automotive parts supplier just suddenly be filing for bankruptcy?
“All I really know is that: it seems I really don’t know anything.” Jeff goes on referring to how the company thinks the workers’ wages are too high. Even a skilled trade job like electrician was not considered to be entitled to a middle class wage. But then again, the middle class and the American dream continue to be a disappearing theme in this country.
The song continues “One more strike then it’s all over.” With the bankruptcy court judge in the company’s back pocket, the union knows that a strike against the company could be enormously devastating. There were threats of plant closures and out sourcing. The notion of moving jobs overseas to a lower wage labor force has always been a very appealing way to cope for this company.
In his song Jeff says “The pressure’s on, and here I come.” Tough decisions had to be made. Torn between staying on with low seniority and being put on permanent layoff ending up with nothing, and choosing to accept a company job buyout offer, Jeff opts for the latter.
Alas “I take a swing…and wait my turn again.” like most of the other now former employees; Jeff has had to move on with a new job and try to build a new life again.
Being downsized out of a job is the fast pitch curveball being thrown at many of us Americans today. It may not seem fair to the blue collar worker, but companies are indeed playing by the rules. Like Jeff Stone, all we can do is just keep giving it our best swing.