LORDSTOWN CLOSING | Campbell mayor: No more GM products!


3:36 p.m.

CAMPBELL —Mayor Nick Phillips reacted to the news in a Facebook post today, saying GM's "very conscious decision" is "very disheartening."

Phillips said he has "made a very conscious decision this day, I nor my family will never purchase another GM product again."

3:10 p.m.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump sounded frustrated about the potential closing of the Lordstown GM plant when talking to reporters today.

"The Chevy Cruze is not selling," he acknowledged, adding he was hopeful that GM CEO Mary Barra will not shutter the plant but instead put a new product there.

2:48 p.m.

COLUMBUS — Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper released a statement calling the news "a dagger in the heart of Ohio's working people."

"It’s hard to watch when just a decade ago we were celebrating the return of thousands of good-paying, family-sustaining jobs with Chevy Cruzes rolling off the assembly line. When Ohio workers are given the opportunity, they can compete with workers anywhere in the world. GM should give the people of the Mahoning Valley that chance," Pepper said.

He applauded the efforts of UAW workers, as well as Democrats U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan.

"[Gov.elect] Mike DeWine should make this a top priority immediately, not wait around until January for a meeting.”

Pepper also noted President Donald Trump's July 2017 comments at a rally at the Covelli Centre, where he promised to bring lost manufacturing jobs back to Ohio and urged local residents not to sell their houses.

1:55 p.m.

AUSTINTOWN — Greg Greenwood, owner and operator of Greenwood Chevrolet, said nobody really knows what the news means in long-term, terms.

"It appears to be notice to folks who actually work there," he said. "The last thing that would matter is how it would affect local car dealerships. The folks have done an amazing job [and] built amazing products in very collaborative way. Sedans just aren't selling like they used to sell ... my heart goes out to them."

Greenwood said the community needs to come together to support the workers affected by the recent edict.

"We need to leave as many doors open as we can by way of community support," he said. "It will mean the world to where we go in the future."

1:42 P.M.

YOUNGSTOWN — Mayor Jamael Tito Brown issued the following statement regarding the closure of GM"s Lordstown Plant: "This is just another devastating blow to our local economy. The hard-working men and women of the GM Lordstown plant have been the lifeblood of this community. GM's decision to close the Lordstown plant will have a lasting effect on the entire Mahoning Valley. I remain committed to do everything within my role as mayor of the city of Youngstown to help the displaced General Motor employees."

12:50 p.m.

WARREN — Speaking from the UAW Local 1112 hall in Warren, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, struck an angry tone, railing against tax cuts for corporations such as GM and GM’s announcement of this news during the holiday season.

“There’s nobody in that boardroom saying, “I wonder what the workers and their families will think?’” Ryan said. “Where’s the humanity? You’d treat a stranger better.”

Ryan spoke with GM officials this morning. He characterized the conversation as “not pleasant.” He said he asked what will happen to the Lordstown facility while it sits idle.

“They didn’t have a good answer for that,” he said.

Ryan also called out President Donald Trump for campaigning on the promise of saving manufacturing jobs and earning many supporters in the Valley, but not intervening to help the Lordstown plant.

“Stop the sideshows because there are real people getting hurt here,” Ryan said of Trump. “You didn’t lift a damned finger to help out.”

“He could have been maybe the only person who could have helped this,” Ryan added.

12:45 p.m.

LORDSTOWN — News of the GM Lordstown plant closing is already sending ripples throughout the Valley, including at Comprehensive Logsitics.

"Lordstown is [Comprehensive Logsitics'] sole customer. We are joined at the hip with Lordstown," said Jose Arroyo, local USW Representative for Comprehensive Logistics. "When they lost a shift, we lost a shift. When they lost a second shift, we lost a second shift,"

"We were hit directly in the gut with the news today. These are people with families who need a way of living and healthcare,"

He said he's seen the union membership drop from 600 to 180.

"This could be potentially catastrophic for the Valley," Arroyo said.

12:41 p.m.

LORDSTOWN — GM Lordstown retiree Dan Lawrence says it's upsetting to see how much automakers entice consumers to buy sport utility vehicles instead of cars.

"It's sad the way they advertise things," Lawrence said Monday morning at Nese's restaurant in Lordstown. He said GM's Buick commercials are an example. They show people looking at a car and wondering how they will get a car load of football players or surf boards inside.

"They've got a whole lineup of Buicks — there's four-door cars, two-door cars and SUVs ... but everything points people to buy SUVs."

He said he and his wife, Linda, went to a Cadillac dealership and said they were interested in four-door car.

"They looked at us like we were crazy," he said.

Lawrence said GM has been "good for the Mahoning Valley because we had nothing after the steel mills went out. It's all we had to keep people in houses."

12:20 p.m.

LORDSTOWN — In a somber news conference, United Auto Workers Local 1112 President Dave Green and Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill said they are holding out hope that the plant can acquire a new product.

Green said he believes the area’s workforce, location and community and political support give it a competitive edge over the other unallocated plants that could be competing for future product allocations.

He also noted that the impact of the plant halting production will be felt well outside the plant. Green also represents UAW workers at local companies that supply the plant, and he noted it could be even more difficult for those workers, as they will not have the option to transfer, like GM workers might.

UAW Local 1112 member Tommy Wolikow, who was laid off from the plant in January 2017, said today’s news is devastating.

“The Chevy Cruze has been such a huge part of my family getting income. To see it get discontinued or stopped from the lineup is devastating,” he said. “It literally takes my breath away. It makes me really sad. My dad - seeing my dad retire out there with 42.7 years - and then me with 10 years, that’s more than 50 years of family commitment.”

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