LORDSTOWN, Ohio — It was an emotional day in Lordstown as the final Chevy Cruze rolled off the assembly line Wednesday afternoon at the GM Lordstown Plant. The car was draped in an American flag and surrounded by heavyhearted workers, who now face an uncertain future.
General Motors decided to have the plant go idle, as part of a restructuring plan, after 53 years of producing vehicles at the complex.
“It’s been gut wrenching,” said David Green, President UAW Local 1112.
Some workers stood outside of the complex in solidarity with their fellow employees, waving flags and holding protest signs.
Many don’t understand why the Lordstown facility is being closed, when it’s been so productive.
According to the union, they sold almost “143,000 units” last year alone, and even finished the final car two days ahead of schedule.
“Because our workers are that damn good,” said Green.
The Union President isn’t giving up hope and says the UAW has been reaching out and getting bipartisan support from politicians.
Also, negotiations between GM and the UAW are scheduled for this summer.
“We’re ready to build the next product whatever it is,” said Green.
Business owners and residents in surrounding communities hope a deal is reach but right now say they are very concerned.
Carol Mocella at the world famous Hotdog Shoppe in Warren says, the area has been hit hard over the years with job losses and plants closing, but losing GM would devastate several local economies.
The plant employees hundreds of people. Some have already begun looking for work elsewhere.
“Losing taxes, people moving away, Warren can’t really take a hit like that again,” said Carol, “A lot of people are very worried about it.”