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The GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio, closed in 2019 as part of a massive company restructuring.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

General Motors is selling a massive assembly plant it shut down earlier this year in Lordstown, a closing that drew threats and scolding from President Donald Trump, to a newly formed company that said Thursday it intends to begin making electric trucks by late 2020.

Workers at the General Motors Lordstown assembly plant have built cars and a community for more than 50 years. Earlier this year, GM shuttered the plant, but hope had remained that it would not close permanently. GM’s new contract with union workers, approved Friday, dashed those hopes. 

WKSU joined workers on the picket line at the assembly plant last week for a final farewell to Lordstown.

The sun begins to set in the early afternoon behind the General Motors Metal Fabrication Division in Parma, Ohio Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2019.
Carter Adams / WKSU

United Auto Workers members in Parma voted to ratify a new contract with General Motors on Thursday.

In this Sept. 16, 2019, file photo a picketer carries sign at one of the gates outside the closed General Motors automobile assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio.
Keith Srakocic / AP

If they can close our plant, they can close yours, too.

That's the message from workers at three shuttered General Motors factories that didn't get new products under the tentative contract agreement reached last week between GM and the United Auto Workers, who have been on strike against the company across the U.S. for over six weeks now.

General Motors and the United Auto Workers have reached a tentative agreement to end the strike that began one month ago, the labor union announced Wednesday. The UAW GM National Council will vote on the deal Thursday.

When the national council reviews the deal's terms, it will also decide whether nearly 50,000 workers should remain on strike or whether they should go back to work before the full membership ratifies the agreement.

Tony Vacca stands in solidarity with GM workers currently on strike outside of the Parma plant on Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2019.
Carter Adams / WKSU

General Motors CEO Mary Barra joined negotiators at the bargaining table, an indication that a deal may be near to end a monthlong strike by the United Auto Workers union that has paralyzed the company's factories.

Tony Vacca stands in solidarity with GM workers currently on strike outside of the Parma plant on Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2019.
Carter Adams / WKSU

Nearly four weeks into the United Auto Workers' strike against General Motors, employees are starting to feel the pinch of going without their regular paychecks.

With the UAW strike against General Motors in its fourth week, the automaker is losing millions of dollars. So are the businesses that supply GM. Many of their workers have also been out of work for four weeks, but unlike the striking UAW workers, their plight is much less visible.

Lansing, Mich., has nine regional GM suppliers. These are companies that do everything from producing ads to making parts for GM's cars and trucks. Altogether, that's more than 6,000 jobs. Supplier jobs in Lansing outnumber GM jobs.

Labor Movements In The U.S.

Oct 3, 2019
A striking member of the UAW Local 1005 in front of the GM factory in Parma on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019.
Carter Adams / WKSU

Labor union membership in the U.S. hit a record low in 2018, when just over one in 10 American workers were card-carrying members.

The drop off is the result of economic, legislative and judicial trends, including the U.S. Supreme Court decision last year that banned mandatory union dues for non-member, public-sector employees.

As tens of thousands of General Motors workers wrap up a third week of their nationwide strike, an historian, a labor leader and a prominent film documentarian of the labor movement consider the past and the future of American labor.

  

For GM Workers, Hope Of Returning To Shuttered Lordstown Plant Fades

Sep 27, 2019
The GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio, closed in 2019 as part of a massive company restructuring.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

In the months since General Motors signaled the closing of its huge car plant in Lordstown, Ohio, Tammy Hurst put off setting a wedding date and watched her fiance, two sisters, a brother and a nephew leave their hometowns for new jobs.

Tony Vacca stands in solidarity with GM workers currently on strike outside of the Parma plant on Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2019.
Carter Adams / WKSU

Nearly every driver who passes the 24-hour picket line on Chevrolet Boulevard blares their horn, a sign of solidarity between the community and the striking workers. 

GM Lordstown may be idled, but UAW members are picketing in solidarity with other autoworkers on strike around the country.
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

Negotiations between General Motors and striking auto workers revolve in part around a plant that has shut down. Six months ago, the last Chevy Cruze rolled off the assembly line in Lordstown, Ohio.

Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET Monday

Talks between General Motors and union officials representing tens of thousands of striking autoworkers restarted Monday in hopes of driving both sides to an agreement on issues including workers' wages, health care and profit-sharing.

After several hours, union officials representing nearly 50,000 workers acknowledge negotiations remain in neutral.

General Motors workers made big concessions to help pull the automaker out of its 2009 bankruptcy. Now, the company is making record profits.

But, the Warren Transmission plant in Michigan shut its doors at the tail end of June, and most of the workers have been placed at other plants. It's a ghost factory.

President Trump stepped up his attacks on General Motors today and called on the company to move jobs back to the United States from overseas.

Trump said in a tweet that the automaker's U.S. workforce was now the smallest in Detroit, noting that the company has shed jobs, "despite the saving help given them by the USA."

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