UAW 164 extends many thank yous

To the editor:

Eighty years of employees, 80 years of giving, and 80 years of history.

Eighty years of existence in this community, our home of Auburn, Indiana. From the Auburn Clutch Company, to Dana Corporation, to now Eaton Corporation, this has been our home here in DeKalb County.

UAW Local 164 and this community have had close ties throughout the years. From volunteering, to donating, to scholarship awards, we have always been right here in this facility.

As of April 30, 2021, we will cease to exist. As a committee we just want to say thank you! To the community, to the city, and to the county we are grateful for our existence. To have been fortunate enough to carry on an ideal, a belief for so many years in one place, can only be met with gratitude.

Thank you to all of the retirees! This place used to employ over 500 people. Bit by bit and piece by piece, jobs were skimmed and sent elsewhere. The excellent benefits and the work environment can only be attested to the people that came before us. Being a part of 164 was being part of a family, not just inside these walls but also outside of work. Our existence and the longevity of this union can only be attributed to you.

Thank you to all of the hourly employees. Over the last few months, coming in every day with the same mind set and awareness as if the place wasn’t closing. That is a testament to the loyalty, to the ability, and to the character of all 84 hourly employees here at Eaton. I would feel safe, I would feel secure, and I would trust working beside every single one of these hourly employees! We can’t say enough about the amazing job of seeing through your commitment to the end.

We would like to say thank you to Gloria Hansen. She has been an HR specialist for Eaton for a good period of time. Any job that we take from here on out we all hope our HR person is like you. Always there for our questions, there for our support, and being present for all the problems that arise on a weekly basis. We are all in debt to you for all that you have done!

We could sit here and talk down about the company, drag their name through the dirt, but we won’t. A majority of our workforce are of a younger generation and we have come to terms with what the company has decided to do. We could have gotten mad, gotten upset but we won’t. It makes us feel sad that this is the world we live in now. The world that produces things for stockholders and shareholders, not for the customer anymore. A world where dividends, stock options, and portfolios are more important than the blood, sweat, and tears of the people who produce the essential items that we need on a daily basis.

Our local committee was elected last June to negotiate our next contract coming up in May; instead we are negotiating our closing. A committee comprised of younger members elected to carry on a tradition, a principle, and a voice. Relocating to silence that voice was the company’s only play.

So, in closing we would just like to say thank you! Thank you to city and community of Auburn! Thank you to anyone who has worked in this facility, past or present. Thank you to the UAW!

The committee, UAW 164

Brock Diederich


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