Involuntary transfers causing uncertainty for UAW laid off worke - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Involuntary transfers causing uncertainty for UAW laid off workers

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LORDSTOWN, Ohio -

As United Auto Workers left the union hall, many held "Drive it Home" yard signs to support GM Lordstown gaining a new product.

Some of the workers laid off in 2017, who have less seniority than workers at the plant, received a forced choice from the corporation.

President of UAW Local 1112 Dave Green said, "About 79 people have received letters over the weekend that they are going to have to make a decision to go to Wentworth or kind of cut their ties with the company. From my understanding, the letters require one to accept the job or separate. If the workers who are currently laid off right now don't go to Missouri and they don't have an offer by the company to work anywhere else, they have a right to only return here back to Youngstown. The bargaining unit is still having some discussions with the International UAW because we are not a closed plant.  Our shop chairman, Dan Morgan, is arguing there are parts that are irrelevant in the contract due to unallocated status. Many of the workers who received that letter have already found new jobs or went back to school for retraining. Workers who have not done either will have this opportunity to move."
 
Uncertainty fuels many worries for UAW members with seniority who are scheduled to work until March 8th when production of the Cruze is set to end.

21 News talked with several people leaving the union meeting. Many of the workers did not want to speak in an on-camera interview. Those who did talk with us explained it is stressful trying to make the right decision for families. About one-third of the autoworkers have decided to move.

John Degarmo is on his 5th plant in 12 years. Degarmo said, "I transferred in 2010 from Lake Orion, Michigan. When they closed that plant, I was by myself, but now I have a family and three-year-old daughter. It's rough. I've worked 12 years for GM, and this is my 5th plant here. I'm trying to get back home to Michigan if we have to leave here, but the plants I would like to move to are in a similar status as the Lordstown plant.

Degarmo will put his house up for sale, and there is a possibility that he may have to leave his three-year-old daughter. Degarmo said that he might go back to school, but he loves the community, and he loves working at GM Lordstown. 

A majority have decided to wait it out in hopes the UAW can fight in negotiations this summer to gain a product.

They also hope the companies will realize their quality and work ethic deserve a new product and that Lordstown's auto workers are the best to make any new product.

Doug Grant who has worked at GM for 18 years said, "I want to stay because of my family and friends. I grew up on the south side of Youngstown. I live in Warren. I have been here my whole life, and I love it. We have the best quality product we put out! Our product speaks for itself. We take a lot of pride in what we do."

UAW 1112 President Green added, "Even with the announcement and people's futures on the line, auto workers are going to work and doing just as good or better than they ever have. We are also supporting customers who buy our cars.  Workers want to make sure when their neighbor, friend, or family member goes in to buy our car that it is the best quality car and they are happy with the vehicle."

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