Long-time United Auto Workers Union President Eldon Renaud is out at the Bowling Green General Motors Plant.
Spokeswoman Andrea Hales confirmed that Renaud is no longer employed at the plant. Renaud had no comment when contacted Thursday morning by WKU Public Radio. He served as the local UAW president since 1982 and had been a GM employee for more than 40 years.
Renaud had been critical of Plant Manager Dave Tatman, who resigned abruptly in February. In April, the union voted to authorize a strike if the plant didn’t resolve some safety and quality issues. A strike never occurred.
Renaud also served as Bowling Mayor from 1996 to 2000.
General Motors says it is investing $350 million and will create and retain at least 1,800 jobs at its plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee.
While the automaker isn’t saying what new vehicles will be made at the plant, GM announced Tuesday that it will add two midsize vehicle programs to the facility, making good on a promise to the United Auto Workers union during negotiations in 2011.
The Tennessean reports that some analysts have suggested the vehicles might be the Cadillac SRX, which is currently made in Mexico, and the Buick Anthem, which GM has in development. The Spring Hill plant served as the headquarters and main assembly facility for GM’s now-defunct Saturn brand before production was halted in 2009.
The UAW says the jobs generated by the new auto production will be filled mainly by local hires, as opposed to the union’s normal practice of transferring displaced workers from other areas.
The news comes on the heels of a recent report showing Tennessee is, for a fourth consecutive year, ranked No. 1 in automotive manufacturing strength in the nation.
General Motors is enhancing its footprint in Bowling Green. Officials gathered at the Corvette plant Wednesday to announce a $3.5 million investment. The automaker is moving its performance built center from Michigan to Bowling Green.
The center specializes in building high performance engines. GM Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones says the move is expected to create or retain 20 jobs.
“We’re working out the details with the international union and ourselves on how we’re going to bring those folks down, but they have the right to follow the work," said Jones.
The next generation Corvette is no longer a secret. With much fanfare, General Motors unveiled a revamped Corvette in Detroit Sunday night, the first new version of the iconic sports car in nine years.
"This car is all new from the ground up and it's absolutely the best performance car we know how to engineer and build," said General Motors North America President Mark Reuss. "I will eagerly put this car up against any of the top performance cars in the world. In terms of design, technology, and performance, this car is second to none."
The 2014 model, so new that it shares only two parts with the current model, picks up cues from the 1963 Stingray. It's described as the most powerful standard model ever, but GM promises it will be the most fuel-efficient Corvette. At the unveiling in Detroit, Reuss offered kudos to the Bowling Green plant for bringing the car the life.
"A few weeks ago we traveled to Bowling Green and drove the first cars made at the plant. Their commitment made this Corvette worthy of the Stingray name once again," praised Reuss.
This weekend has been a long time coming for Corvette enthusiasts. General Motors will unveil the next generation car on Sunday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The reveal couldn't be more exciting for Dave Tatman, manager of the Bowling Green GM plant where the new model will be produced.
"We've had people from the Bowling Green assembly plant traveling to Detroit for almost three years now working with engineers in Detroit side by side on this car," says Tatman.
The 2014 Corvette will go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than four seconds, and Tatman says the car is literally all new.
General Motors plans to idle Corvette production in Bowling Green for six months to prepare for the next generation of the iconic sports car. The automaker laid out its schedule for revamping its assembly plant in Warren County for the all-new 2014 model.
A fifteen passenger van has been donated to the Kelly Autism Program, which is part of the Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex at WKU. Officals at the University say the vehicle was donated by Chevrolet and the GM Corvette Plant. Director Marty Boman says the vehicle has already been put to use for several special activities and field trips which give participants in the program a chance to experience new activities.