HONDA HURDLES – WHERE YOU LIVE CAN HURT

The new Honda plant will limit its job selection to 20 specified counties. Yes, you heard me – 20 counties. The following is the recent news release detailing Honda’s application process.

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08/23/2007GREENSBURG, Ind – Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, LLC (HMIN) will begin accepting applications for production positions Sunday, Aug. 26, 2007, through the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (IDWD). Advertisements calling for applications will appear in newspapers beginning Sunday.

Applications will be accepted for a two-week period through Sunday, Sept. 9, 2007 with the first phase of hiring beginning later this year. HMIN will employ approximately 2,000 associates when the automobile plant in Greensburg reaches full production.

Applications will be accepted only on-line at the Web site: http://www.Indiana.Honda.com. Interested individuals who do not have access to a computer may contact their local Indiana Department of Workforce Development WorkOne Office to obtain assistance in completing the on-line application process.

Applicants must be 18 years of age, have a high school degree or GED to be considered for production employment opportunities. Applicants also must reside in the following counties: Bartholomew, Brown, Dearborn, Decatur, Fayette, Franklin, Hancock, Henry, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Johnson, Marion, Ohio, Ripley, Rush, Shelby, Switzerland, Union and Wayne. Honda is an equal opportunity employer and HMIN is committed to hiring candidates from diverse backgrounds to become part of its team in Indiana.

Construction of the new $550 million HMIN production facility began in March on a 1,700-acre tract in Decatur County, Indiana, near the town of Greensburg, 50 miles southeast of Indianapolis. Mass production of Honda Civic sedans is expected to begin in fall 2008.

At full production, HMIN will have the capacity to produce 200,000 vehicles per year. Major production processes performed at the Indiana plant will include stamping, welding, painting, plastic injection molding, sub-assembly and final assembly operations.

HMIN has begun hiring a limited number of non-production associates in the fields of automotive engineering, purchasing, information technology, administration and equipment maintenance. Advertising in February and June 2007, for these non-production positions resulted in more than 7,500 applicants.

HMIN will be Honda’s seventh auto plant in North America and one of 17 major Honda manufacturing facilities in North America. It will help to boost Honda’s total North American automobile production capacity from 1.4 million units to more than 1.6 million units in 2008, employment in North America to more than 37,000 associates and capital investment in North America to more than $9 billion.

Honda began U.S. sales operations in 1959, the company’s first overseas subsidiary. Honda began U.S. production operations in 1979. Honda began building cars in the U.S. in 1982, making 2007 the 25th anniversary of Honda auto production in America.

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And the reason? They want them to be able to get to work on time. That’s the official reason – an underlying reason being discussed is that they want to avoid drawing workers who may want to organize a union. Honda plants are not unionized, and the county limitation deprives applicants from the unionized plants in Fort Wayne from applying as well as those from the West Lafayette area.

The new Honda plant was given more than $85,000,000 in state and local government incentives and infrastructural investments for their current plant project and about $55 million in future regional growth. Incentives which were paid by all of us as Hoosier taxpayers – at least the state level incentives. This just ticks me off – my taxes – although probably not much – helped to bring the Honda plant to Indiana – as did taxes from 72 other counties as well. Why shouldn’t all Hoosier workers have the opportunity to benefit from the plant’s employment practices?

Job seekers consistently apply for jobs outside of their present home range. When they are hired, they then relocate. Although I don’t know the benefits and wage structure at the Honda plant, I will bet it is sufficiently enticing that workers from various other corners of the state would be willing to relocate. After all, the plant isn’t opening until next year so new hires would have plenty of time to manage a relocation.

The official rationale behind the Honda decision really doesn’t hold water, especially when the opening date is coupled with fact that the powers-that-be think a one-hour, one-way commute from the farther counties is convenient for their workers. What do you wanna bet that those workers in the farthest outlying areas will move closer to the plant? Something that workers from all corners of the state are very capable of doing yet will not have the opportunity to do given Honda’s restrictions on residency.

Note the distance from the farthest outlying counties to Decatur County.  Convenient?  Doesn’t appear to be.

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About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
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3 Responses to HONDA HURDLES – WHERE YOU LIVE CAN HURT

  1. Gary says:

    Are they limiting the hiring of non production associates within the same geographical location or doesn’t it matter?

    Shouldn’t residents of Ohio be allowed to apply for jobs in Indiana?

    Why don’t they just build homes right next to the plant and require the workers to live there and buy groceries and other goods from the company?

  2. Gary:

    I believe I read that the non-production (mangement,etc.) associates were hired from all over the state.

    This makes sense if you go with the avoidance of pro-union workers. Management would not be pro-union for the most part, so Honda wouldn’t have the same concerns as with non-management workers.

    The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that the idea is to stay away from the areas were union membership is higher. After all, the plant isn’t opening until 2008, so workers from any part of the state would have plenty of time to relocate, thus allowing them to find housing so they could get to work on time.

  3. unibet says:

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