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More jobs will leave Kentucky for Mexico




GLASGOW, Ky.

A gearing production plant will move from southern Kentucky to Mexico and take about 100 jobs with it sometime this year.

Dana Corp., which runs the plant in Glasgow, is making the move aimed at “improving the competitiveness” of Dana’s commercial vehicle business, said Chuck Hartlage, a Dana Corp. spokesman.

The move means 100 people employed at the plant will be laid off, Hartlage said.

Dana Corp.’s move is the latest to hit Glasgow and southern Kentucky. Johnson Controls moved its production operations to Mexico in late 2005. It manufactured sun visors for the automotive industry.

SKF USA, Inc. announced plans to phase out operations at its Glasgow plant over an 18- month period and to move a portion of its production to its manufacturing facility in Puebla, Mexico. The Glasgow plant makes a limited assortment of automotive hub units, both for North America-based original equipment manufacturers and aftermarket distribution.

“How can you compete with Mexico?” asked Mayor Darrell Pickett. “There’s no competition for Mexico. What do you do?”

Stephen Biggers, executive director of the Glasgow-Barren County Industrial Development Authority, said the economy is pushing Dana and other companies like it south of the border.

“Their reason for it, and they are very straightforward, is they have to be competitive. You are either competitive or you don’t survive,” Biggers said.

But, the move doesn’t mean Dana Corp. will be completely gone from Glasgow this year.

The company has an agreement with the United Steel Workers union to conduct a joint study to identify new work for Glasgow that can sustain the facility in an economically viable fashion, Hartlage said.

“If this work isn’t secured for Glasgow, the plant could be closed, but not before Dec. 31, 2010,” he said.

Dana emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Feb. 1. During its 23-month reorganization, the company and its stakeholders achieved $440 million to $475 million in annual cost savings and revenue improvements, according to the company’s Web site states.

Information from: Glasgow Daily Times


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