Positive mood not shared as GM announces new CEO
General Motors has shattered the glass ceiling with its choice for the company's next CEO, just one day after it closed the chapter on government ownership.
Mary Barra, 51, will take the helm of the company in January, the first woman to head up a major U.S. automaker. Former Cummins CEO Tim Solso will become GM's new chairman.
The news comes after the Treasury Department sold its final shares of GM on Monday. The U.S. ended up losing $10.5 billion on the bailout, but says the alternative would have been far worse.
All the news is nothing but memories for Anderson. At it's peak, GM employed 27,000 people in Madison County, but now, there is nothing more than a field.
It doesn't take long to realize Anderson is moving on. There are 30,000 GM retirees in Madison County, enough to make a union hall the first in the nation the be bought and operated by GM retirees.
"We felt like we were sold out by General Motors," said GM retiree Bob Stinson.
Stinson worked at GM in Anderson for 39 years. He believes the automaker abandoned Anderson, but he supports the government loans because of his pension.
Eyewitness News asked if he felt Anderson was in the rear view mirror at GM.
"I don't know if we are even in the mirror for GM, for Anderson or for Madison County," Stinson said.
Over in Howard County, the GM plant is still operating 24/7.
"If it wasn't for the government loan, there would have been a million-plus jobs lost, here and all across the country," said Danny Hiatt, UAW Local 292 Kokomo.
Hiatt serves as shop steward for UAW Local 292 in Kokomo. He says there is support for the government loans, but not all is as well as it seems.
"Seventy-seven members will be laid off January 2. That is on top of 43 temps laid off earlier in the year and 17 employees laid off three months ago," Hiatt said.
While the news from General Motors is positive, it is not universally shared around the country. In Kokomo, GM is open and operational, but the union hall is for sale.
GM also has plants in Marion, Fort Wayne and Bedford.