- auto industry - Chrysler - financial crisis - GM - USA
The US car industry is in crisis. The battered economy, oil prices and have dealt a severe blow to GM, Ford and Chrysler in Detroit – where thousands of car-workers fear losing their jobs. Just north of downtown Detroit is the suburb of Auburn Hills.
This is car-making heartland - nearly everyone here works in the auto industry. Kareem Styles works in one of GM’s biggest metal-stamping factories, making parts for cars. He’s the fourth generation in his family to work for the carmaker.
Aunts and uncles - a history steeped in cars. Although Kareem has a job now, he’s still worried about tomorrow.
“Everyone is scared right now, everything is so uncertain. We’re trying to explore different avenues and get job security because there s really none right now.
"It makes me feel sad because our family is raised off the auto industry. Several family members came up through the auto industry and we looked forward to being autoworkers.”
Shakir Wahhab also works in the car industry but unlike Kareem, he’s been laid off after twelve years with Chrysler. He doesn’t know when he will work again. “You begin to wonder what you going to do, what you need to cut back on and it takes a toll on family and a lot of the members here.”
There were more than two thousand workers at this plant last year. Now there are just six hundred. Shakir fears for the future of America’s blue-collar workforce. “We’ve outsourced most of our industries and the car industry is one of the last industries left. The textile industry has gone, we lost our steel industry and now the heartland of the US industry, the auto industry, is under attack.”
For now, Shakir is focusing on what’s around the corner and a new president he hopes will help. But for now the road ahead remains uncertain.