There was a glimmer of hope for some workers at General Motors’ Lordstown Assembly plant in Ohio last week when President Donald Trump announced the automaker was in talks to sell the plant to electric vehicle maker Workhorse, potentially saving some UAW jobs in the region.
But the sale of the plant is far from certain. It is still subject to approval from the UAW, which remains adamant in its stance that GM should keep the plant open. The fate of the Lordstown plant will be decided during the UAW’s upcoming labor contract talks with GM.
“The UAW’s position is unequivocal: General Motors should assign a product to the Lordstown facility and continue operating it,” UAW Vice President Terry Dittes said in a statement last week.
Ohio governor Mike DeWine elaborated on the matter this week, saying that if the sale were to fall through and GM didn’t keep the plant open, it would be devastating to the surrounding area.
“If things are not in place for this to happen this would be very cruel to the workers and the people in Lordstown and the Mahoning Valley,” he said.
When speaking to Time for the same article, Vice president of the United Auto Workers brand for Lordstown, Tim O’Hara, said members aren’t getting their hopes up.
“We’re telling our members to hope for the best, prepare for the worst,” he told the publication.
Not many details on Workhorse’s plans for the Lordstown site are available. Workhorse chief executive Duane Hughes said previously they are hoping to build a “commercial electric pickup” at the plant. It would also be looking to hire “a couple hundred” employees to work there initially – much less than the 1,500 that formerly worked at Lordstown. Workhorse currently has less than 100 employees working for it.