Last September, the UAW announced Local 1112 and 1714 would merge under one union chapter at the Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant. Now, the merger is official, and Robert Morales, president of Local 1714, said the move will make the facility more cost-effective, The Vindicator reported last Sunday.
GM Lordstown was the only U.S. facility represented by two unions, which made for longer bargaining processes and doubled services.
There’s certainly an underlying reason for the merger, which folds Local 1714 after 47 years. Workers at the Lordstown plant had a rough 2017 with 1,200 workers laid off and slumping demand for its sole product built, the Chevrolet Cruze. Union leaders believe the merger will help make the plant more attractive for a new vehicle.
“It’s up to us to earn that product,” Morales said.
Leaders realize it’s not the plant or GM’s fault for tough times at Lordstown, but merely the result of a shifting market towards crossovers, SUVs and trucks. Chevrolet Cruze sales continue to fall and fell 45.5 percent last month.
GM Lordstown Communications Manager Thomas Mock previously announced that “adjustments” were inbound last September, though there’s been no official word yet. Mock added in the new report that he would not comment on future product or plans.
Workers at the plant had a resounding message for GM brass as they transition to one union chapter: bring it, and the plant will build it.