The world is flat, Tom Friedman taught us.
So, when I saw a story on the wire this morning about Chrysler cutting 10,000 workers (on top of 13,000 cut in February), I wondered how many of those might be in Kenosha.
Looks like none of them. Chrysler is cutting salaried employees at HQ, and eliminating a number of models that aren't selling well: Crossfire, PT Cruiser convertible, Pacifica and the ominous-looking Dodge Magnum station wagon.
The company will eliminate third shifts at the Toledo North plant in Ohio (750 jobs) and at the Belvidere plant in Illinois (another 1,000) early in 2008. Those plants make the Jeep Liberty, Dodge Nitro, Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot.
Kenosha's 850 workers make none of those models; they make the V6 engines used throughout the Chrysler and Dodge lines (including in the Magnum). Plans were announced this summer to invest a portion of $650 million in Kenosha, as prelude to retooling the factory to make a new family of V-6 engines. Those new engines are called Phoenix ... a nice metaphor for the Kenosha plant itself.
The Associated Press quoted union leaders at the Kenosha plant saying there's no immediate impact here. But, United Auto Workers Local 72 president Dan Kirk says they're not sure what the long range impact might be.
An interesting sidelight is the actual number of jobs Chrysler plans to cut. Various media outlets this morning have reported 7,000, 10,000 and 12,000. Hope for the best.