The shutdown of the GM Lordstown plant: A corporate crime
Tim Rivers and Shannon Jones
5 March 2019
Tuesday, March 5, will be the last day of production at the General Motors Lordstown, Ohio, plant as the last Chevy Cruze sedan rolls out of the 6.2 million-square-foot complex, halfway between Cleveland, Ohio, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The closure of the iconic factory, the scene of many battles by militant autoworkers in the 1970s, is a corporate crime, aided and abetted by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union. The plant, which was opened in 1966 and once employed up to 13,000 workers, had been reduced from three shifts to one before its closure.
Last Friday was the last day of work for hundreds of Magna Seating employees in nearby Warren, Ohio, who posed for pictures with the last seats made for the GM car. Thousands of other workers in supplier plants, trucking companies, local restaurants and other workplaces are also expected to lose their jobs.
The closure is part of GM’s move to close assembly plants in Detroit and Oshawa, Ontario, and two transmission plants in Warren, Michigan, and Baltimore, Maryland, as part of plans to eliminate 6,000 production and 8,000 white collar jobs in North America. This is part of a global restructuring that includes plant closings and layoffs in Brazil, Russia, China and other countries.
Many Lordstown workers have already been forced to make the difficult decision of transferring to other GM plants hundreds or even thousands of miles away, leaving behind relatives, friends and communities where they had established deep roots.
The shutdown is the most recent in a long line of attacks on jobs in the Mahoning Valley in northeastern Ohio, which includes Lordstown, Warren and Youngstown and was once known…