Planet Gore

Another Day, Another Taxpayer-Funded Battery Disaster

And this is why manufacturing in China beats America. Because in China, they don’t pay workers to sit around and do nothing.

It’s not really the fault of these American workers that they’re doing nothing. They build the batteries for the Chevy Volt, and GM can’t give those away. President Obama’s job-creation skills at work!

Workers at LG Chem, a $300 million lithium-ion battery plant heavily funded by taxpayers, tell Target 8 that they have so little work to do that they spend hours playing cards and board games, reading magazines or watching movies.

They say it’s been going on for months.

“There would be up to 40 of us that would just sit in there during the day,” said former LG Chem employee Nicole Merryman, who said she quit in May.

“We were given assignments to go outside and clean; if we weren’t cleaning outside, we were cleaning inside. If there was nothing for us to do, we would study in the cafeteria, or we would sit and play cards, sit and read magazines,” said Merryman. “It’s really sad that all these people are sitting there and doing nothing, and it’s basically on taxpayer money.”

Two current employees told Target 8 that the game-playing continues because, as much as they want to work, they still have nothing to do.

“There’s a whole bunch of people, a whole bunch,” filling their time with card games and board games,” one of those current employees said.

The rest here.

And here’s the official release from the White House on just how fantastic all of this is. From July 15, 2010:

Background on the President’s Event in Holland, Michigan Today

Today, the President will deliver remarks at a groundbreaking ceremony at Compact Power, Inc. a subsidiary of LG Chem Ltd., a battery plant in Holland, Michigan.  The plant is the ninth of nine new advanced battery factories to start construction as a result of the $2.4 billion in Recovery Act advanced battery and electric vehicle awards the President announced last August.  The project is expected to create hundreds of construction and manufacturing jobs in Holland.  Once fully operational, the Compact factory will produce battery cells to support 53,000 Chevy Volts a year.

Ahead of the President’s trip, the Department of Energy released a new report on the economic impact of Recovery Act investments in advanced batteries and vehicles.  The report, “Recovery Act Investments: Transforming America’s Transportation Sector,” documents how Recovery Act funds are being matched with private capital to create new jobs, construct new plants, add new manufacturing lines, install electric vehicle charging stations across the country and help build the emerging domestic electric vehicle industry from the ground up.  The report can be viewed in full HERE

The audience was invited by LG Chem Ltd. and will be comprised of (approximately 250) elected officials, community leaders, industry representatives, and workers. 

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu will accompany the President on his trip to Michigan.

*Backgrounder on Recovery Act Investments in Holland.


Peter Ban-Suk Kim, Chief Executive Officer, LG Chem Ltd. Governor Jennifer Granholm Mayor Kurt Dykstra (introducer)

And let’s not forget the obligatory photo-op!

Obama Attends LG Chem Battery Plant Groundbreaking and Gets First Seat Time in the Chevy Volt

Obama Meets President and Vice President of LG Chem


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