Suppliers for the General Motors Lordstown plant are preparing for the domino effect that has already begun as the automaker begins to wind down production at the facility. Lordstown is scheduled to go idle this March.
The Vindicator reported Sunday that Lordstown’s shutdown could affect thousands of jobs at auto suppliers from hourly workers, to warehouse staffers, and truck drivers who transport the goods.
Dave Green, United Auto Workers 1112 president at Lordstown, told the newspaper there’s no safety net for the supplier workers. GM has highlighted the fact many of the impacted Lordstown workers can transfer to plants that are in demand for labor. There’s no such protection for supplier workers.
One supplier has already announced it will close its doors this March when GM idles the Lordstown plant. Source Providers Inc. said last December it would cease operations and 180 jobs left at the facility. In total, as GM scaled back Chevrolet Cruze production, 600 jobs were shed from the supplier.
Lordstown Seating Systems, a subsidiary of Magna, also announced last December it would lay off workers and said it would idle production in tandem with the auto plant’s shutdown. It’s unclear how many jobs are affected, but critically, Magna said it would not shut the plant down. It remains hopeful workers will be able to return to work in six months. If GM does not allocate a new vehicle to the plant, it will consider the layoffs permanent.
Some local suppliers began to diversify their business in the Great Recession last decade, which protected them from keeping too many eggs in one basket. One of them is Jamestown Industries, which does not rely solely on the Lordstown plant for business. It’s diversified to include work from warehousing, logistics, and packaging outside of the auto industry.
Yet, its largest customer remains the Lordstown plant and the supplier builds front and rear bumper covers for the Cruze. One employee, Melissa Green, who’s worked at the supplier for 14 years said she doesn’t foresee a bright future ahead and plans to transfer into the nursing field.