More Layoffs for Lordstown Auto Workers as GM Accelerates Closure

One of the primary service providers to the Lordstown plant in Ohio announced Thursday another round of layoffs for their beleaguered factory workers.

Leadec Industrial Services is a German-based service provider of “janitorial, mechanical, and maintenance services” to GM’s Lordstown Auto Plant. In an initial letter, sent on Feb. 13, the company announced that 73 employees would be permanently laid off as of March 8, 63 union employees and ten non-union employees. The page specifically listed which departments would be hardest hit:

Janitorial: 38
Booth Cleaner: 11
Mechanical: 7
Maintenance Tech: 3
Service Attendant: 2
Electrical: 2
Non-Union Salaried Employees
GL/Supervisor: 9
Site Health and Safety Manager: 1

During this time, discussions were still ongoing between GM, the Ohio Government, and the local union: United Automobile Workers (UAW Local 1112) and the fate of the plant was still in question. Despite this, the reason given for these layoffs was:

The planned layoff at the facility is permanent in nature. The entire GM Lordstown Assembly plant is not being closed at this time. We expect that the job eliminations resulting from the mass layoff will begin on or about March 8, 2019.

As predicted, the factory officially ceased production of new vehicles on March 7.

The Feb. 13 letter was met with instant backlash from the community and the response from Leadec seemed promising. On Feb. 28, a second letter was sent that seemed to amend the first. This one dropped the number of layoffs from 73 to 39. The majority of janitorial layoffs would still go through but most other departments were spared. This letter also shifted the date of layoff to April 1. Many were relieved that their voice had been heard and they had saved at least some of the positions.

This latest letter sent March 27 (and made public earlier this week), announced layoffs for 40 additional employees sometime between May 27 and June 7. In total, 79 employees have been, or are scheduled to be laid in 2019. As all of the cuts were made in the previously established departments, this letter seems to reestablish what the initial letter had already done and goes beyond it. This raises the question of whether or not the reason for decreasing the number of initial layoffs was political. Some could argue that, even when they decreased the number, they were still committed to terminating those employees and only delayed the full announcement to “soften the blow.”

As previously reported:

Since its opening in 1966, Lordstown, Ohio has been the backbone of the local economy. Providing plentiful high-paying jobs, working at the plant ensured, at a minimum, a direct entree to the middle-class regardless of education level. Thousands of workers were employed by the plant at its peak. Over time those numbers dropped to below 2,000.

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Andrew Shirley is a reporter at Battleground State News and The Ohio Star. Send tips to [email protected].
Photo “Lordstown Complex” by Lordstown Assembly.






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