• Jan 20th 2009 at 9:32AM
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Checker Motors Corp. stopped making taxicabs over two decades ago, but the company has soldiered on as a parts manufacturer. That ride has been detoured, though, as the company recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The 87-year-old Kalamazoo company filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Friday, Jan. 16.

Although Checker stopped production in 1982, the company still has 246 employees making metal stampings and welded assemblies for all of the Detroit 3. The filing makes Checker the seventh major U.S. supplier to file for bankruptcy protection in the past year, and the 54th this decade.

Escalating raw material prices and dwindling sales for their customers' products were cited as the main reasons for the filing, but another big reason was labor costs. It's reported that a deal with unionized labor couldn't be reached even after a year of negotiations.

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[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I didn't know they were around, either. Another victim of the economy, the Big Three, and the UAW. I wonder what parts they made for whom?
      • 6 Years Ago
      anyone ever try working with out a union ????????? it works !!!!!!!!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      "It's reported that a deal with unionized labor couldn't be reached even after a year of negotiations."

      This does not bode well for the big three seeking concessions if the union won't bend for a little company like Checker. Hopefully they will be able to finally renegotiate a contract under chapter 11 and come back.
      • 6 Years Ago
      We need to make the whole nation a right to work nation.
      If you want to turn around the economy, throw out unions and their rules, throw out all the frivlous law suits, (Make loosers to law suits pay the winners legal costs, throw out all the goverment interfearance (E.P.A., O.S.H. A., .and stop states from interfearing with national business (Like when California requires special Milage and emission standards of cars, and special fuel blends for different parts of the state. ) And allow oil companies to drill where they no oil and gas are, Like Glf of Mexico off Florida, ANWAR in Alaska. ) Make those politicians who vote against turn in private jets, limos and suv and ride bikes.
      Do these things and economy will take off
        • 6 Years Ago
        Great idea Tim! Only for anyone who wants to return to sweat shops and slave labor. It would definitely make the economy take off---on a downward slide! You must listen to Rush Limbaugh.

        Government deregulated the credit industry. Competition was supposed to be better for consumers. Instead interest rates skyrocketed because there were no more resrtictions. Seeing how they bumbled government tried to fix this. Instead of regulating interest rates they doubled the percentage required for minimum monthly payment to help consumers pay off debt faster. Instead it just made more consumers cash poor. Regulation isnt a problem. The problem is the people making the regulations. Bad regulations get bad results.

        Why should only politicians who vote against your ideas be punished by taking away expensive perks? We shouldnt pay for expensive perks for any of them. A congressman should be just as effective whether he gets to congress by stretch limo or a used Yugo.If they prefer a stretch it should be from their own pocket. If we have to pay our own health care so should they. If we get no retirement plans they shouldnt either. I wonder what we spend paying for health care, retirement plans, office space, staff and security for all our still living former elected officials? If corporations want to eliminate benefits for retirees we should eliminate benefits for past government officials too.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Don.t blame the UAW for the problems of Checker and the big 3. Blame the poeple who say the are American but refuse to support the U.S.A. and would rather send thear money to a foreign country by buying foreign. You cam tell who they are they are driving toyotas, hondas, and any other foreign car that is littering the U.S. roads. These are the people that are the blame for the way the U.S. economy is. Buy domestic and keep yourself working and other Americans working. Proud to be American. Proud to buy American.
      • 6 Years Ago
        • 6 Years Ago
        hey buddy if you dont like the usa, get out and go to wherever you came from.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've always wanted to own a Checker Cab.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So the union "won" their battle, refusing to give up some concessions. Now the company is bankrupt. Now what, union??
        • 6 Years Ago
        Now what? Assuming Checker reorganizes then probably the same deal that was offerred to them prior to bankruptcy. My guess it was one of those where they said "You can take this ultra-crappy deal now or take your chances with the court" and they decided to take their chances with the court. But that's purely speculation on my part.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Union thinkiing, strangle the chicken to increase egg production!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Lori - The way things are going you wont need another car. Well all be back to the horse and buggy. Why do so many people blame the unions? Theyre the only ones who are closer to right. Corporate greed is to blame. High executive salaries, bonuses, perks and always wanting higher profits while blue collar jobs were cut and outsourced to other countries with low labor costs. They didnt lower product prices though when they got their lower costs. They just raked in higher profits. Finally its come back to bite them. American workers needed second incomes just to survive. Credit was extended so corporations could continue selling their goods. Car loans went from three to 5, 7 and eight years. Mortgages went from 15 to 30, 40 and even 50 years. No money down and 125% financing were introduced so home builders could continue to build homes. Our economy has been built on a sand foundation which has been deteriorating for a long time. There are two ways to fix this. First raise wages to where Americans can afford to live without the need for excessive credit. Second live with whats happening. Let failing companies go out of business. Live with declining wages. Eventually we just wont be able some of the products we have become accustomed to. Our standard of living will decline further. It would be like starting all over again but I think wages, prices and standard of living would come to some kind of equilibrium. Increasing our federal debt to hand out bailout money is just a band-aid that will peel off in the future.
      • 6 Years Ago
      its the stupid unions that are destroying the big companies.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, I had no idea they were still around.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I still drive my Checker Marathon and wouldn't have any other car. I love my Checker. What a sad, sad state of affairs if this iconic parts company should fold.
        • 6 Years Ago
        They're not still around. The economy, management, and their union managed to kill the business.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Man everyone is going under, Have you ever wondered....

        What does $700 billion actually buy? (List of 25 things) Check it out...


        So sad....
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