Sunday, December 14, 2008

Moraines' Last Week

This is the last week of operation for Moraine Assembly.

Daytonology will be doing a series of history posts on the place, the town of Moraine as well as the factory, as sort of a memorial and milestone of the end of an era for the Dayton region.
A lot of people are really into schadenfreude about 4,000 (in total) people losing their jobs, as indicated by the posts at the Dayton Daily News, which is part of the general "hate/mock unionized workers" sentiment abroad in the land. This blog won't engage in that. In fact this blog contains a number of posts on the history of how Dayton was organized, (including the original Moraine plant) and on the racial aspect of losing assembly line employment (which no one is really talking about). In short, maybe more of a long view and looking at different angles of the situation.

But that's all been said. This will be more of a geographical instead of sociological set of posts.

For the sociological side it sort of sucks to see a lot of people go on the unemployment line just before Christmas. Maybe its the symbolism of it.

And that's all I have to say about that.


Anonymous said...

Looking forward to your posts on Moraine. I'll be interested to see just how Moraine developed the way it did, since it has a somewhat unplanned nature about it.Thanks for the research you did on Beavercreek. I really enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to more on Moraine. What an interesting place--industry, breaking from West Carrollton, current political recalls, land fill. Lots you could cover.

Woodrowfan said...

I worked in the GM plant in Moraine in the late 70s; a summer jobs for someone just starting college. It was Frigidaire then and I worked on wall-ovens (those ovens without a range on top that fit into a wall in a kitchen or apartment.) The work was dirty, hot, and boring, but paid well. I was also the 4th generation of my family to work there. My great-grandfather spent his life on the assembly line. His daughter worked as a clerk in the parts department. My Dad went to GMI in Flint and started working at the plant (that's all it was ever called, "the Plant.") for six month at a time, then spending the other 6 months at GMI learning to be a plant engineer. He started working for GM in the late 1940s, when he was not quite 18 and fresh from Roosevelt High . He worked at Frigidaire until it was sold, then helped retool the buildings to make S-10 trucks. He worked in the truck plant as an engineer until he retired. Dad died 10 years ago and he'd be so sad to see the plant he helped build, the one that provided work for his family and friends, be shut down.

I have a piece of the old original wood floor that I picked up one day when my Dad took me through the facility (Plant #2? I no longer remember which was which) to show me what he was doing. To this day the smell of hot machinery oil takes me back to Frigidaire and the smells on the assembly line. I moved away from Dayton more than 20 years ago, first to grad school, then to Northern VA/Washington DC. I still have my union card from the Frigidaire plant though and never lost my respect for those that worked there. They worked hard and deserve better.

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain to me the comments on Dayton Daily News? They are the most simple-minded, knee-jerk, negative, statements I've read on almost any website. Is can't be representative of the city of Dayton's intellegence and worldview!

I've particularly not understood the spiteful venom against unions on that site -- I've got no real love nor hate of them, but the people who comment on DDN seem to have either had a REALLY bad experience with unions, or they are just plain mean. Did I miss something around here (like in the 70s and 80s) that would make someone today hate unions with that kind of passion?