With layoffs around the corner, GM employees held a vigil in the cold and drizzly weather.
“In an employee parking lot outside General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, about 70 workers stood together in the cold and drizzle late Thursday afternoon for a UAW-led vigil, bracing for layoffs that would uproot their lives and likely shutter the plant in 2019.
GM’s initial round of layoff notices at the plant for 620 hourly workers went out last week and will begin taking effect Feb. 18. Subsequent layoff rounds are expected in coming days or weeks. There are currently 1,550 total workers at Detroit-Hamtramck.
‘It affects all of us in different ways, especially around the holidays,’ line worker Sam Rammal, 31, of Dearborn told reporters from behind the plant’s chain-link fence. ‘You’ve got all these families that really don’t know where they’re going to end up. … It’s just a waiting game now.’
Some workers could be given the option of transferring to other GM plants with openings in Flint, Bowling Green, Kentucky, or Arlington, Texas. However, not everyone is in a position to move to start a new GM job.
Renee Dixon, 38, of Roseville, a single mother to two young children, said she is worried that the transfer opportunities wouldn’t allow her the flexibility that she has now working first-shift to get her young ones to and from school.
‘For me, it’s not anything that’s really practical,’ she said of relocation. “I’m holding out, hoping I can stay here as long as possible.'”
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