On November 9th, 2021, St. Gabriel Communications, 88.5 mhz, Adel, IA, filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission for authority to construct a new noncommercial educational FM broadcast station to operate on 89.9 mhz, at Mason City, IA. Members of the public wishing to view this application or obtain information about how to file comments and petitions on the application can visit https://enterpriseefiling.fcc.gov/dataentry/views/public/nceDraftCopy?displayType=html&appKey=25076f917ce2e04b017d002e8c140a22&id=25076f917ce2e04b017d002e8c140a22&goBack=N#sect-chanFacility

On November 9th, 2021, St. Gabriel Communications, 88.5 FM, Adel, IA, filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission for authority to construct a new noncommercial educational FM broadcast station to operate on 89.9 FM, at Spencer, IA. Members of the public wishing to view this application or obtain information about how to file comments and petitions on the application can visit https://enterpriseefiling.fcc.gov/dataentry/views/public/nceDraftCopy?displayType=html&appKey=25076f917ce2e04b017ce708493e0cfb&id=25076f917ce2e04b017ce708493e0cfb&goBack=N
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Founded October 1, 2010

Transferred 200 miles away, GM workers yearn for home

This news story was published on September 16, 2012.
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By Steve Giegerich, St. Louis Post-Dispatch –

ST. LOUIS — The commonplace has a way of dissolving into trauma the moment Doug Deaton leaves for his job on a General Motors passenger car assembly line.

“Every Sunday night, she cries for her daddy,” said Deaton’s wife, Paula, her voice breaking as she held the couple’s 8-year-old daughter, Allie. “I don’t know how to explain when he’s coming home again.”

It’s an explanation that vexes many of the nearly 200 of Deaton’s co-workers, men and women who responded to the crisis in the auto industry by transferring to a GM assembly plant in Kansas City, Kan.

Nearly three years after being transferred to the Fairfax Assembly Plant, many of the former Wentzville, Mo., workers are still managing long-distance relationships and split families. And now, as they watch the ongoing expansion of the Wentzville plant — a development considered highly unlikely back then — many of the workers ache to have their old jobs back and come back home to St. Louis.

GM executives, however, have so far given the workers little cause for hope.

The workers represent the majority of about 250 people who in 2009 faced a wrenching choice, as they watched General Motors take a massive government bailout just to stave off bankruptcy in a deep recession.

Back then, the choice GM offered them seemed like a no-brainer. The company offered workers a $30,000 bonus to move to Fairfax and commit to three years; or they could take $4,800, commit to only six months, and retain their seniority rights in Wentzville, should openings occur.

Most workers figured their seniority rights would be useless in returning home. Back then, the Wentzville plant, a producer of old-school vans, had long been considered more likely to close than expand. The GM workers had already seen Chrysler and Ford shut down two other St. Louis-area production sites. They also were among the 975 GM workers sidelined as the company cut Wentzville production to a single shift.

The Kansas plant, which manufactures the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick Lacrosse, at least seemed like a safer bet. “The majority of people who left with us figured the plant would probably close,” said Rick Barcomb, one of the transferees.

In 2009, no one envisioned the rebound in van sales that would prompt GM to resurrect the second Wentzville shift, just as no one could have imagined the $380 million plant expansion to accommodate production of the Chevrolet Colorado mid-size pickup, which is expected to start next year.

“We’d been told since 1985 that GM would only run a single shift,” said Gene Hite, a Wentzville native and 28-year GM employee.

The agreement the workers signed stipulated that Fairfax, not Wentzville, would be the home plant for the employees from that point forward. Among the transfers, there remains a fair amount of confusion about the terms of the relocation agreements.

“A lot of people were misinformed,” said Linda Hart, a retired Wentzville worker whose husband, Bob, is among the Missourians now toiling for GM in Kansas.

Hart estimates about a quarter of the transfers, between 50 and 60, still commute from Wentzville. But the majority of workers who have moved to Kansas would, if the opportunity arises, return to Missouri, she said.

The autoworkers cite a variety of reasons they’ve remained in the Wentzville-Kansas City orbit each week.

For starters, there’s the union scale wages they’ve collected while millions of other Americans have collected unemployment the past three years. Meanwhile, the dismal housing market, coupled with the reluctance to relocate school age children, ruled out settling permanently in the Kansas City vicinity.

Besides, few are inclined to stake the future on a domestic auto maker that barely three years ago was teetering on the edge of insolvency.

“Why would you take a chance and change your entire life again?” asked Doug Deaton, who along with Paula transferred to Missouri from a GM plant in upstate New York.

Resigned to the hardship of working in one community while their families lived in another, the transplants were able to view the weekly commute as a simple, if unpleasant matter of economic survival — until GM unexpectedly announced it was bringing back the second shift in January.

The announcement followed news that GM was shifting Chevy Colorado production to Wentzville from Shreveport, La. Reading between the lines, the hopeful transfers seized on the possibility of a premature end to their exile from Missouri.

GM instead recruited workers for the second shift off the street, the transferred workers said. The two-tiered salary provision embedded in the current United Auto Workers contract allows car companies to compensate new and temporary workers at about half the rate the company pays legacy rank-and-file workers, who make about $28 an hour.

Wentzville’s current payroll of approximately 1,800 hourly workers is expected to rise to about 3,000 with the arrival of the Colorado line. But it’s unclear how many of those jobs have been filled or how many might be available to the transferred workers in Kansas.

General Motors spokeswoman Melissa Zona said decisions about relocating workers are guided by the transfer and placement process embedded in the automakers’ pact with the UAW. She said she couldn’t discuss the circumstances of individual workers.

The UAW did not respond to requests for comment.

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