LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – As the nearly weeklong strike against General Motors continues into the weekend, car plants in Canada — as well as parts suppliers in this country — are starting to see an impact. But workers in Lordstown remain hopeful an agreement will be reached to bring them a new product to build.
Even though their plant’s empty, striking autoworkers in Lordstown aren’t giving up.
Close to a hundred gathered outside the plant gates Friday morning wearing union t-shirts and carrying picket signs after members spread word of the rally on social media.
They wanted to support each other, but also thank the community for its help, such as by dropping off food and drinks to those on the line.
“It just shows how people care,” said Dan Morgan, UAW Local 1112 shop chairman. “It’s just a feeling, I guess. It’s hard to describe but it settled well with you.”
Over the last several months, there have been plenty of stories of workers leaving their families behind to take jobs at other GM plants.
Shelley Cooper transferred to Lordstown from Columbus and has already turned down a move to Bowling Green, Kentucky, thinking now of going back to college.
“I’m in limbo right now,” she said. “Every day, every few days, I’m OK and the next day, I think I made a huge mistake by not going to Kentucky. But my family would have to stay in Columbus.”
In the meantime, union leaders are still waiting for details to back up reports of GM bringing a battery plant to the Valley, especially if that means a lower wage tier for workers.
“Fifteen an hour jobs,” said Tim O’Hara, UAW Local 1112 president. “You can’t have a normal middle-class lifestyle, right? You have to work like, two or three jobs to make up what an autoworker would make.”
For now, they continue waiting for word a new contract will mean a new product here.
“Until we’re told that this plant doesn’t have hope, we’re still hopeful,” O’Hara said.