Lordstown | WOSU Radio

Lordstown

Signs hang from windows at the UAW Local 1112 union hall, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, in Lordstown, Ohio.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

Former factory employees in Lordstown are hopeful as national contract negotiations get underway between General Motors and the United Auto Workers union.

The mayor of Lordstown says his village is still waiting to learn whether GM will sell its idle auto plant to electric truck maker Workhorse.

Mayor Arno Hill said he met with GM and Workhorse officials in Columbus earlier this month. But he still has questions, such as who would invest in the plant and whether the company would ask for incentives.

“Right now, we’re just in the wait-and-see mode,” Hill said. “Ideally we’d like to get another General Motors product, so people don’t have to move out of town. But if that doesn’t happen, get us some answers.”

Steve Burns is a man of big ideas. In December 2017 he proudly showed off Workhorse's electric pick-up truck to WVXU, was perfecting drone delivery off the company's electric delivery trucks and touted his personal flying machine. Now he is planning to buy the GM Lordstown plant.

Members of United Auto Workers Local 1112 are more skeptical than optimistic after the announcement Wednesday that General Motors is in talks to sell its Lordstown plant to Cincinnati-based Workhorse Group, an upstart maker of electric trucks.

Many are shocked the company would rather sell the plant than assign a new GM vehicle to be built in Lordstown.

Mark Franko, 28-year General Motors employee, holds an American flag as employees gather outside the plant, Wednesday, March 6, 2019, in Lordstown, Ohio.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

News about a possible buyer for the General Motors plant in Lordstown is generating a lot of interest in Workhorse, the Cincinnati company involved in the deal.

Signs hang from windows at the UAW Local 1112 union hall, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, in Lordstown, Ohio.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

New jobs are planned for three General Motors plants in Ohio, and even more new jobs could come to the idled plant in Lordstown. But many unanswered questions remain for both workers and politicians.

General Motors Plans To Sell Lordstown Plant

May 8, 2019
The GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio, closed in 2019 as part of a massive company restructuring.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

General Motors plans to sell its shuttered factory in Lordstown, Ohio, to a Cincinnati company that builds electric trucks. It offers some good news for a community that lost more than 1,700 jobs when the plant closed earlier this year.

Youngstown's Falcon Transport, which ended operations and laid off about 600 employees without warning in April, is facing multiple lawsuits according to a federal district court filing Tuesday. Falcon was part of the supply chain for GM's shuttered Lordstown plant, which ended production in March.

Elk and Elk lawfirm's Managing Partner Jay Kelly said Falcon was required to notify the state 60 days before closure under the Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act.

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

A month after the last Chevy Cruze rolled off the line at GM’s Lordstown plant, some laid off workers are moving away and businesses in the Mahoning Valley are feeling the effects.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks at an Ohio workers town hall meeting, Sunday, April 14, 2019, in Warren, Ohio. Sanders also spoke in near-by Lordstown.
David Dermer / AP

Vermont Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was in Lordstown yesterday for a town hall on education, the economy and how they’re tied to the city’s future.

Congressman Tim Ryan talks to boxing legend and Youngstown native Ray 'Boom Boom' Mancini at Ryan's first presidential campaign rally held in downtown Youngstown. Ryan joked he would hire Mancini as his White House secretary.
Kabir Bhatia / WKSU

Tim Ryan rallied voters in his hometown over the weekend, garnering support for his 2020 Democratic presidential campaign. The nine-term Congressman spoke before an enthusiastic crowd in downtown Youngstown on West Federal Street, which was closed off for the event.

It was a frigid 15 degrees on the picket line along the railroad tracks in Wilmerding, Pa. More than 100 union members and activists chanted slogans of solidarity and in favor of a fair contract with Wabtec Corporation — a company that builds freight train locomotives. It turned out to be the final hours of a nine-day walkout by 1,700 workers.

Workers who were recently laid off from General Motors’ Lordstown plant likely will not be among those to benefit from the production of a new electric vehicle (at least not this year), according to GM spokeswoman Cheryl McCarron.

At Lima Rally, Trump Says Ohio Workers 'Better Love Me'

Mar 21, 2019
President Donald Trump speaks during the 2018 Ohio Republican Party State Dinner, Friday, Aug. 24, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio.
John Minchillo / AP

President Donald Trump on Wednesday brought his re-election campaign to Ohio — a state essential to his 2020 strategy — touring a military tank plant and telling many of its cheering workers: "You better love me. I kept this place open."

Trump also used the visit to criticize John McCain, saying the late senator "didn't get the job done for our great vets." He complained that McCain's family didn't thank him for giving the senator "the kind of funeral that he wanted." McCain died last year of brain cancer.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

President Donald Trump is returning to Ohio on Wednesday, the state that foretold his 2016 victory and serves as the linchpin of his re-election effort.

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