Earlier this month, a hybrid battery plant in Holland Michigan began furloughing workers. Yes, even before the plant had produced a single battery since ground was broken in 2010. The plant received $150M in taxpayer money to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles but, due to lack of demand, it doesn’t look like we are getting our money’s worth.
Last week, it was reported that, for the last several months, workers have had “so little work to do that they spend hours playing cards and board games, reading magazines or watching movies” on the company dime…make that the taxpayer dime. A former employee stated that “There would be up to 40 of us that would just sit in there during the day.” Many employees have also gotten active in the community and begun to spend their days volunteering. An honorable way to spend the day, but why are taxpayers paying them to do it?
The goal was to have 300 employees creating 15 million battery cells per year, most of which would be destined for a Chevrolet Volt. Instead, the skeleton crew working at the plant has no work to do at all. In fact, workers say that the materials needed to make the battery cells have all been shipped to another plant in Korea.
When Barack OBama attending the groundbreaking in 2010, he said “This is a symbol of where Michigan is going, this is a symbol of where Holland is going, and this is a symbol of where America’s going.” It doesn’t sound like the city, state, or country is going “forward,” does it?