United Auto Workers | WOSU Radio

United Auto Workers

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.”

Ohio's Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman says he welcomes a lawsuit filed by the United Auto Workers that accuses General Motors of breach of contract for closing several factories, including its Lordstown assembly plant.

He said the impact of the planned closure is already rippling through the economy of the Mahoning Valley and making a bad situation worse.

“These suppliers are starting to shutter their doors too.  So I support what the UAW is trying to do, which is to get them to make good on their commitments and to keep production at that plant,” Portman said.

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

The United Auto Workers has sued General Motors to stop the company from closing three plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland. According to the suit filed Tuesday, the union claims its current contract forbids the company from idling the plants.

Sherrod Brown
Nick Castele / ideastream

Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown has landed the endorsement of the United Auto Workers a year after Ohio Democrats saw a series of labor unions abandon their Senate candidate for his Republican opponent.