LORDSTOWN, Ohio– Church bells across the Mahoning Valley were ringing loudly on Friday afternoon as auto workers and supporters gathered at Lordstown Christian Church.
“Everyone wants to do what they can to try and keep the plant here and building cars here and they are willing to do whatever it takes to get to that point.,” said Lordstown Fire Chief Travis Eastham.
Friday was True Blue Friday in the Mahoning Valley. It was a campaign put on by Drive it Home Ohio, where community members were asked to wear blue in support of the auto workers and to send a message to General Motors to reinvest in the Lordstown manufacturing facility.
“We are going to let (GM CEO) Mary Barra know that we are going to send as many pictures to her as we can to let her know that she can put those in her GM family album and we are part of that family and we want to remain part of that family,” said UAW Local 1112 President David Green.
The final Chevrolet Cruze rolled off the assembly line in Lordstown on Wednesday. Auto workers are still coming to grip with the news.
“Right now, I’m in the process of grieving the loss of this car and a job right now,” said Vickie Raymond, a GM auto worker.
Around 1,500 men and women lost their jobs as a result of the production halt. Many remain hopeful they will return to work at the Lordstown Plant.
“For me, I’m an optimistic person,” said Tunisha Bell, an 18-year auto worker at the plant. “Even though it still looks bad, I still have a golden strand of hope inside me.”