LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – United Auto Workers union members in Lordstown — Local 1112 — voted overwhelmingly against a contract with General Motors.
Members of the local group voted Thursday. A total of 412 voted against the contract, while 60 voted for the contract.
The new contract doesn’t bring Lordstown employees any work. It’s a difficult situation to be in and emotions were running high.
It was standing room only for a UAW information meeting to go over details of the tentative contract with General Motors.
Union workers were frustrated as they tried to get their questions answered.
“That was tough, but it was also embarrassing that international sent down people who weren’t real knowledgable on all the events at our plant to give us answers,” Doug Grant said.
A 19-page booklet explained the main points of the tentative agreement. It said the Lordstown assembly plant would stay closed, as it has been since March.
To many, the rest was meaningless.
“The main thing is the $11,000 bonus,” Steve Persello said. “Nobody really qualifies for that here and the people that they sent different places were forced beyond their will.”
“Those who have ratified the contract, they’re doing it for the signing bonus,” Kathy Pate said. “That’s what they’re seeing. They’re not seeing the future.”
The former Lordstown workers are now seeing contract language for retraining funds, buyouts and retirement bonuses.
They’ve been saying for weeks that if the Lordstown plant can be closed and production shipped to Mexico, it can happen at any of the other GM plants in the U.S.
“I don’t trust General Motors,” said Joseph Nero, who had worked for GM for 41 years. “They gave me a good life but they hurt a lot of people.”
Two UAW Locals have voted against the agreement. Now Local 1112 joins them.
There are about 500 members still associated with Local 1112. Another 1,200 workers who transferred from the now-closed plant belong to other locals.
Workers will stay on the picket lines until the contract is ratified.