Jim Sarafin has finally decided to utilize the three spiral notebooks of incidents and dairy-like entries from his time in a General Motors metal casting plant in western New York.
Sarafin’s memoir, “Career Reflections from inside a Corporate Giant 1964-1981: Experiences in an American Automobile Plant” (published by AuthorHouse), details the nearly two decades he spent working inside a fast-paced and sometimes dangerous GM plant. The book offers an inside look at life in a huge automotive corporation, as well as commentary on GM’s mismanagement of employees and their poorly negotiated labor agreements. These factors, he believes, eventually lead to the subsequent auto industry bailout.
“My opinion on the bailout was, and remains, that GM was not going to go out of business, but because of the huge underfunded pensions and healthcare obligations, something had to give,” says Sarafin.
The book is written from an employee’s perspective instead of that of upper management. Sarafin weighs in on the government bailout and holds steadfast in his belief that it was not necessary. He offers insights and tells of the struggles he faced inside the plant.
“General Motors management was extremely political,” says Sarafin. “Most people in leadership positions cared more about making themselves look good rather than helping the company succeed.” He believes this was a huge factor in the closure of the plant he worked in, as well as GM’s slide in auto manufacturing dominance.