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Old 07-14-2014, 11:26 AM   #13
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Morristown IN
Posts: 76
Re: Body Stamping Historian

Originally Posted by Keith Seymore View Post
Here's another thought...

The other thread seems to be heading in a more historical/technical direction.

Since we've already had some exchanges about different relatives in the industry perhaps this thread could take a more personal tack.

Can you tell us a bit about your work experience (ie, hourly vs salaried, different job assignments you've had through the years, etc)?


Not one to toot my own horn but since you ask I will reply.

I was finishing up Nursing School to be a License Practical Nurse (I did get my license) when I hired in on 8-21-1972 as a Press Metal Worker. I worked in the department that stamped and welded the Endgate (tail gate) for the 1973 model pick up. About 300 new hires were hired that week end prior.

After nine days I went on salary as a shop clerk and I did that four months and was unjustly booted back to production hourly (long sad story). However I was glad to go back as well.

Went through one long lay off from Chevrolet 74-76 but during that time I worked 50 weeks at Detroit Desiel Allison Div. In Indianapolis.

Finally in June of 1976 I was back to the Chevrolet Plant worked a year and got into the apprenticeship in June of 1977 as a Millwright (we did our own welding also). Became a journeyman in 3 years 2 months and 3 weeks (overtime).

Worked a short while as a Millwright and then got laid off for nearly 2 1/2 years. Toward the end of this I worked a month at Delco Remy in Anderson as a Millwright.

While in that long lay off I retested and went back to the Chevrolet plant as a W.E.M.R. apprentice and started all over again. WEMR or Welder Equipment Maintenance & Repair. I was an apprentice in this from 1983 to 1987 and became journeyman. This trade worked on all the spot welding machines and hanging gun spotwelders. We did it all and some referred to it as a "Bastard Trade". It was a large group.

I worked as a WEMR for 16 1/2 years total. Along the way the welding was downsized gradually. Hence in June of 2000 I was ask if I wanted to transfer to the Electrician Department and get cross trained as an Electrician. I went into that as an E.I.T. (Employee In Training) In four years I was an in plant Journeyman Electrician.

In September of 2004 I retired at the age of 52 and my life has never been happier. I have a letter that was given to me by request from the Human Resource Dept. when state in writing that in GM's records I am skilled in three trades... which is fairly rare. It is not that I am "genius" was a lot about being in the right time at the right place.

Now what was really interesting about all of this was being exposed to so many manufacturing processes at the plant. It was all interesting and I enjoyed ALL OF IT, and made a good living as well.

Almost forgot...for 4 months in 1995 I was loaned out and worked in WEMR at Lordstown Assembly in Ohio where the Cavalier and Pontiac Sunfire was assembled at the time.

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