Local autoworkers plan rally as GM bargaining begins in Detroit - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Local autoworkers plan rally as GM bargaining begins in Detroit

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DETROIT -

Autoworkers who lost their jobs with the idling of General Motors Lordstown Assembly Plant will be in Detroit on Tuesday as they rally in a show of support for their union bargainers.

UAW Local 1112 leaders say they expect two busloads of members and supporters will be joined by others who plan to drive to Detroit's Renaissance Center as bargaining gets underway on a new contract with GM.

Those taking part will be wearing UAW tee shirts with the names of union leaders on the back.

Sarchione Chevrolet of Randolph, Ohio donated the buses for the trip according to John DeBernardo of Local 1112.

As those talks begin, hundreds of workers and their families are hoping their union will make the push to bring a new product to the idled GM plant in Lordstown.

Both General Motors and the UAW have said that the future of the Lordstown Assembly Plant will be a bargaining issue during talks to replace the current labor agreement that expires in mid-September.

The UAW is suing GM in federal court over job transfer rights. The union opposes GM's request to have those issues settled through arbitration.

General Motors stopped making the Chevy Cruze in Lordstown this past March and has no plans to replace the production with another vehicle.

Meetings between GM CEO Mary Barra, Senators Rob Portman, Sherrod Brown, and Representative Tim Ryan in June provided little if any optimism that GM would bring a new product to Lordstown.

There seemed to be a glimmer of hope when President Donald Trump tweeted that CEO Barra told him GM would sell the Lordstown plant to a company that planned to build electric trucks.

As details came out on the deal, it became apparent that the venture would be a spinoff of the Loveland, Ohio based electric vehicle manufacturer Workhorse, and that several things needed to happen including the United States Postal Service awarding Workhouse a contract to make the next generation of electric-powered delivery trucks.

About 500 families have moved since the Lordstown plant was idled and more could follow.

UAW Local 1112 President Dave Green says, he expects to get a transfer notice. So far, about 15 hundred laid-off workers have received such notices. Green says he's been told the talks could take a hostile turn and that a strike isn't out of the equation.

Danielle Cotterman will be in Detroit for the ceremonial start to the contract talks. Her reports begin today on 21 News 6 PM. Several auto analysts will give their take on the likelihood of Lordstown being a main focus in these talks.

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