United Auto Workers at GM Lordstown learn about loss of 2nd shif - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

United Auto Workers at GM Lordstown learn about loss of 2nd shift

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LORDSTOWN, Ohio -

It was an extremely tough day for many of the United Auto Workers at General Motors Lordstown as they learned about the loss of their second shift at the plant come June 18th.

Last year GM management cut the third shift.

According to GM, this time approximately 1,500 auto workers could be impacted.

As employees jumped in their cars and tried to leave the Lordstown parking lot, several told 21 News that they would be losing their jobs, and they said about 400 to 500 employees will be eligible to retire.

The most senior auto workers will be eligible for a $60,000 buyout and those less senior can still take advantage of a buyout but will receive a smaller amount.

Carrie Raupauch of Youngstown will have 40 years in at the GM Lordstown Plant in May, and with Friday's news, she plans to take advantage of the buyout and retire.

"This is icing on the cake for me really," Raupauch said.

When asked about the mood in the plant, Raupauch said, "When they announced the first shift only, there were some outbursts, some screaming.  It wasn't received well, but I think we all kind of knew it was coming." 

The longtime employee believes with the buyouts GM management is trying to minimize the hurt as much as possible but don't tell Michael McNamara that.

"It's not good news.  All I can tell you is there's going to be a lot of people out of a job!  And they ain't even telling us if we can go to another plant," McNamara said.

Managment told employees the Chevy Cruze just isn't selling right now.  In fact, CNBC is reporting that this year Cruze sales have fallen 28% according to the research firm Autodata.

"I think the best thing, the thing now, is to get another product in there," Raupauch said.

But others question if taking the plant, that once used to be one of the largest employers in the Valley, down to one shift could ultimately mean a very uncertain future for the Lordstown Plant.

"I'm sure if you don't have a lot of seniority out here, that's always going to be a concern.  I mean, I had that worry all the way up to 30 years seniority.  It's something you deal with when you work out here," Raupauch said.

United Auto Workers Union 1112 President Glenn Johnson had no comment for reporters at this time.  But in an informational flyer, he assured his membership that what happened is in no way their fault and they will continue to work to keep the Cruze moving down the line, while also working to secure a new product for Lordstown's future.

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