Dozens of GM employees from Lordstown now working in Toledo

Published: Mar. 12, 2019 at 5:18 PM EDT
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The last Chevy Cruze rolled off the assembly lines in Lordstown, Ohio last week. That means workers there had to decide whether to retire, look for a job with another company or transfer to a different GM plant.

Dozens of workers from Lordstown transferred to the Toledo Transmission Plant.

They've been here for just over a month. While they understand there are no guarantees, the workers we spoke with believe the Toledo plant gives them job security.

Joe Stanton has been at the Toledo plant since late January, "I hated to leave Lordstown."

He worked on the assembly line there for 12 years, "You grow a bond with those folks, and I left my family. It's very difficult."

In spite of that, Joe says he's one of the lucky ones, "My kids are grown, so. I could pick up and move. A lot of my union brothers and sisters could not leave. I feel so bad for them, my heart goes out to each and every one of them. They didn't all have the opportunity I had."

Dina Mays worked in Lordstown for more than a decade. She's also worked on the new 10-speed transmission line in Toledo since January, "Toledo is close to my kids and my family, so it was a pretty easy decision."

She spent about half her 25-year career at the Lordstown plant, "I still have a home there, so I drive back there after work on Friday and come back here Sunday night."

GM has invested about $1 billion in Toledo since 2011. Dina is confident that investment will pay dividends for her as she winds down her career, "We just got the 10-speed line here, so this plant has a bright future. Because of that I can finish my time with the company without having to move again."

A big part of that investment was for the new 9-speed and 10-speed lines that are now up and running. James Bailey is the HR Director at the plant, and he says the workers here in Toledo have been doing their job well for decades, "We're very good at building transmissions. Our track record proves that. In addition to our quality and productivity we have the best safety record among large plants. I love this city and my co-workers. This plant is exciting and challenging. We have a very good facility." And because of that, this plant will likely provide careers for decades to come.

You may remember there was a string of incidents at the Toledo Transmission Plant involving racist graffiti and nooses. The workers we spoke with from Lordstown said because of that, they were concerned at first about coming here. But they tell us that since arriving at the plant they have been welcomed and haven't seen any evidence of racist behavior.

GM is offering a $25,000 reward in connection with the incidents.