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Uncertainty worries workers at Spring Hill GM plant

Uncertainty worries workers at Spring Hill GM plant


March 30, 2009 05:09 PM CDT

President Obama said no Monday to loaning billions more to two of the three big auto makers.

GM and Chrysler were seeking more than $21 billion to keep their assembly lines running in addition to the $17 bill that’s already been handed out.

"Let me be clear, the United States government has no interest or intention of running GM.  What we are interested in is giving GM an opportunity to finally make those much needed changes that will let them emerge from this crisis a stronger and more competitive company," President Obama said.

The decision could put thousands of Mid-State jobs in jeopardy and has workers at the General Motors plant in Spring Hill on edge.

GM retirees, workers and city leaders in Spring Hill told News 2 they’re worried about the uncertainty of the future.

"It was a shock that none of us saw coming but now that it’s here, we’ll have to deal with it," said UAW team member George Mitchell.

Don Hover has worked with GM for decades.

"If they go into bankruptcy, we’re going to lose our retirement," he said.  "I put 40 years in with GM and I’m not going to be a happy camper if I lose all that."

"If anything unfortunate were to happen to that company, it would have a very personal impact on everyone’s lives here," Spring Hill Alderman Mike Dinwiddie told News 2.

The Spring Hill plant makes the Chevrolet Traverse crossover utility vehicle and employs around 3,500 people.

Many local businesses depend on the plant to stay afloat.

"We are all connected in one way or another to that plant," said Dinwiddie.  "We need to keep the plant in our prayers and working families of that plant in our prayers, and hope everything works out for the best for that company."

GM has an additional 60 days to come up with a plan to prove it can stay in business and must do so without CEO Rick Wagoner.

He was forced to step down Sunday.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm is firing back against the move.

She called Wagoner a "sacrificial lamb", forced out of his job by the Obama Administration.

She said Wagoner had worked for GM for more than 30 years and was trying to turn the company around.

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