Deal to end GM strike won't save Lordstown plant

The deal to end the month-long strike at General Motors will not save an assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, and two other transmission plants, according to the United Auto Workers union.

Posted: Oct 17, 2019 1:16 PM
Updated: Oct 17, 2019 1:42 PM

The deal to end the month-long strike at General Motors will not save an assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, and two other transmission plants, according to the United Auto Workers union.

In November, GM announced plans to close Lordstown as well as transmission plants in Warren, Michigan, and Baltimore, Maryland and Hamtramck, in Detroit. Under the proposed labor deal reached Wednesday, Hamtramck will get a new lease on life, with a chance to build electric trucks. But the company was offering that even before the union went on strike on Sept. 16.

'It is with sadness that, with this agreement, three of those four facilities will close,' said the union's summary of the deal's terms.

The union said it did win enhanced retirement and buyout packages for affected employees. It also disclosed that GM plans to close a parts distribution center outside of Los Angeles sometime during the life of this contract. It has 31 hourly workers.

RELATED CONTENT: UAW ON STRIKE AGAINST GM 2019 FULL COVERAGE

During contract negotiations, the United Auto Workers union had demanded GM bring some of the trucks it builds in Mexico to the US plants.

There were more than 3,000 union jobs at the four plants when plans to close them were announced in November. GM said it found jobs for about 2,300 of the workers at the four plants, although many had to relocate.

On Thursday morning a group of workers from Lordstown were outside the meeting room where union officials were considering the proposed four year contract deal. They were chanting 'No product, no vote,' to union officials as they entered the room, trying to push them one last time to demand that GM bring back a vehicle to build in Lordstown.

'It's depressing because so many people depend on it, and so many people left the community with the thought in their mind that, you know what? Our union's strong and our union's going to get us back to work in Lordstown one day,' said Tommy Wolikow, a former Lordstown worker.

Wolikow is still with GM, having transferred to a GM plant in Flint, Michigan not long before the Lordstown plant stopped building cars. He said many workers from Lordstown who moved to other states to take GM jobs left their families behind, but did so with the expectation that they would be able to move back to Lordstown to be with their families again.

'To hear this news that we might not get another General Motors product, it's just devastating,' he said.

The 32-day walkout by 50,000 GM workers centered on issues including a path to permanent work for temporary workers, pay raises or lump sum payments for UAW members and promises of investment at US plants.

GM agreed to eventually start building a new electric truck at the Hamtramck assembly plant, the company's last remaining plant within Detroit city limits. But GM has yet to reveal a prototype of the truck, known as a concept vehicle in industry parlance.

That means construction of the truck is likely more than a year in the future. Since GM plans to halt production of the sedans it now builds at Hamtramck early next year, the plant will likely be dark for an extended period.

GM also agreed to invest in some new plants in the Lordstown area, including one that would build lithium ion batteries to power electric cars. And it is looking at a possible sale of the Lordstown plant to a company that may build electric vehicles there. But it is not clear how many jobs those plants will produce, and they are unlikely to pay what veteran autoworkers at GM now earn.

GM's decision to close the plants sparked outrage from the union and many politicians, including President Donald Trump.

The tentative agreement needs the approval of both union leadership as well as the rank-and-file union members at GM before it can take effect. The union's National GM Council, made up of those who represent GM workers nationwide, was meeting to consider the agreement Thursday.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 751242

Reported Deaths: 13795
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1032931788
Lake556911009
Allen41692692
St. Joseph36990565
Hamilton36588417
Elkhart29398461
Tippecanoe22901226
Vanderburgh22556400
Porter19356325
Johnson18471389
Hendricks17682317
Clark13226195
Madison13149344
Vigo12614253
LaPorte12419221
Monroe12207176
Delaware10966198
Howard10321225
Kosciusko9630121
Hancock8576146
Bartholomew8169157
Warrick7860156
Floyd7811180
Grant7242179
Wayne7162201
Boone6966103
Morgan6761141
Dubois6218118
Marshall6209116
Cass6016110
Henry5900110
Dearborn589878
Noble581488
Jackson509076
Shelby501496
Lawrence4742122
Gibson444894
Clinton442355
Harrison441875
DeKalb439885
Montgomery438090
Whitley406543
Huntington402681
Steuben400159
Miami395269
Jasper388054
Knox375991
Putnam372960
Wabash361983
Ripley347170
Adams345555
Jefferson335886
White331953
Daviess3033100
Wells295281
Decatur289992
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273072
Scott270156
Clay267148
Washington246036
Randolph244783
Jennings235349
Spencer234531
Starke228058
Fountain220948
Sullivan214643
Owen211858
Fulton202942
Jay200932
Carroll193620
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion174844
Franklin170335
Tipton166246
Parke149416
Pike138234
Blackford136232
Pulaski120647
Newton113936
Brown104243
Crawford102516
Benton101714
Martin91715
Warren84015
Switzerland8148
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0420

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1108902

Reported Deaths: 20166
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1287491467
Cuyahoga1158082211
Hamilton814091250
Montgomery525571043
Summit484351001
Lucas43359820
Butler39018606
Stark33338929
Lorain25675505
Warren24595303
Mahoning22376603
Lake21211388
Clermont20124253
Delaware18856136
Licking16663222
Fairfield16576204
Trumbull16551482
Medina15612271
Greene15284248
Clark14237306
Wood13292200
Portage13251215
Allen11914239
Richland11607211
Miami10849225
Wayne9146223
Columbiana9034230
Muskingum8906135
Pickaway8664122
Tuscarawas8650250
Marion8642138
Erie8056165
Ashtabula7161179
Hancock6999132
Ross6945161
Geauga6838151
Scioto6534106
Belmont6157174
Union584649
Lawrence5732102
Jefferson5679158
Huron5546122
Sandusky5442126
Darke5420129
Seneca5350128
Washington5320109
Athens523960
Auglaize502187
Mercer487385
Shelby476895
Knox4572112
Madison444366
Ashland435797
Putnam4336103
Defiance432399
Fulton432174
Crawford4040110
Brown402461
Logan387677
Preble3856105
Clinton379166
Ottawa373681
Highland359865
Williams348278
Champaign344859
Guernsey324953
Jackson318254
Perry297350
Morrow291840
Fayette285450
Hardin275365
Henry273467
Holmes2702101
Coshocton269060
Van Wert247264
Adams243256
Pike242835
Gallia240750
Wyandot234556
Hocking220563
Carroll197348
Paulding176542
Meigs148440
Monroe136344
Noble136239
Harrison114138
Morgan109624
Vinton85717
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 52°
Angola
Clear
° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: °
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 51°
Decatur
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 52°
Van Wert
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 55°
Calm and cool conditions are expected across the Midwest through the middle of the work week.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events