A difficult end of the year continues for GM Lordstown workers. Their countdown is a little different right now, counting the remaining days on the job.
Some of the options for the over 1,400 workers who will be without a job come March is to transfer to other General Motors facilities.
Valley native Cindy Wilson is home from Texas for the holidays. She used to work at GM Lordstown and took a transfer last year to the facility in Texas.
Wilson’s story begins in 2008 when lost her job at Lear Corporation in Lordstown. She was hired by GM and then got the news that the company was eliminating the third shift at the local plant, so she took a transfer last year to Texas.
“Hearing from somebody else that there is life beyond Lordstown. I just wanted to be what little bit of support that I could,” Wilson said.
GM has said more transfer opportunities are available, and not just in Texas. Some people are considering them. Cindy realizes everyone’s situation at the Lordstown plant is different.
“It’s scary. When I moved, I didn’t know a soul,” Wilson said. “I know how these people are feeling. I know that there is a lot of anxiety. There are a lot of people questioning just what to do, what decision they should make, should they try to wait it out?”
Wilson still takes great pride in the Cruze, pointing out every one she sees. Her new plant in Arlington is walking distance from where the Dallas Cowboys play, and it has brought her new opportunities. She is part of a core team, working on future models with engineers, but she can’t talk about them.
The Arlington plant makes the bigger vehicles driving GM — the Tahoe, Suburban and Escalade.
“Texas loves Texas. They love everything about Texas. They love their trucks,” Wilson said.
Those trucks are the here and now for GM. Drivers want them. Workers want to make them, maybe for a sense of job security.
Wilson said it hurts to see the Lordstown plant closing, but 18 hours away she notices a big difference in Texas.
“When I go back there, I see new highways, new schools, new shopping malls, and new restaurants being put up everywhere. Texas is becoming the new melting pot,” Wilson said.
Wilson still misses home. Her father was one of the first workers at GM Lordstown in 1966. Her brother still works there, and she knows how important it is to the Mahoning Valley.
“I’m pulling for you Lordstown. I really am. I hope that this plant makes a turnaround,” Wilson said.
Her encouragement also includes – We Are Union. We have fought battles, worked and have survived the storms.