General Motors stamping plant to end production Friday
Richland County: General Motors stamping plant to end production Friday
ONTARIO, Ohio — For more than fifty years, the General Motors stamping plant near Mansfield, Ohio powered the local economy.
On Friday, the plant that made doors and other parts primarily for trucks, will stop production as part of General Motors plan to emerge from bankruptcy.
In its heyday, the Mansfield-Ontario metal center employed more than 4,000 people. The current workforce numbers around 400.
United Autoworkers of America Local 549 President Pam Drake said a small group of workers will stay on at the plant to tear down equipment so that it can be moved to other plants.
"We had 10 major manufacturing sectors here in the county," Drake said. "We’re the tenth one to go.
"We just deal," Drake said, of workers and GM retirees worried about jobs and future benefits. "But now that it’s starting to slow down a little bit, it’s getting a lot tougher (each) day, watching your friends leave."
General Motors made the decision to close the stamping plant last summer, even though GM called it one of its most efficient plants.
Ohio’s U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and Governor Ted Strickland tried to persuade GM executives to keep the plant open.
The City of Ontario expects up to $1 million in city income tax to be lost with the closure.
"The issue is the trickle-down effect it’s had in our community," said Ontario Mayor Larry Collins. "With people losing jobs, they are not shopping, not going to restaurants and that kind of thing."
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