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Watch–GM Worker Details Last Day Before Ohio Plant Closure: ‘It’s Hard to Even Fathom’

JOHN BINDER

American General Motors (GM) worker Aaron Applegate detailed his last day at the multinational corporation’s Lordstown Ohio Assembly plant as GM executives close the site, just one of four being closed this year.

Applegate has worked at the GM Lordstown plant for 11 years supporting his wife, Jean Ann, and four children, including his 13-year-old son Austin who has cerebral palsy. Applegate had moved to the area 11 years ago after being laid off from his job in Indiana.

Now, with the closure of GM’s Lordstown plant at the expense of at least 4,500 total American workers in the area since 2017, Applegate faces a similar fate. In an interview with CBS Evening News, Applegate said he is “a lot worried” about what the future holds.

“I was hoping that it didn’t come to this,” Applegate said of the plant closure. “You know, the last drive in. It’s kind of bittersweet. I mean, what do you do from here? This may be the last time I pull up and park in this spot.”

When asked if he was bitter, Applegate said “parts of me are very bitter,” citing the fact that GM CEO Mary Barra has laid off thousands of Americans all while the corporation has benefited from tax cuts and a $12 billion profit last year.

“What makes you bitter is the fact that they’re making profit year after year after year now and we’re not seeing that back,” Applegate said. “It’s not as simple as a number.”

“But, GM employees are a number because they don’t care,” Jean Ann responded. “I mean, you’re replaceable.”

Jean Ann said if she were able to confront Barra, she would tell her that her mass layoff scheme is wrong.

“For her to think that she can play God and do whatever she wants to do with any GM family is wrong,” she said. “I love living here. The friends, the neighbors, a community that I can call whenever anything goes on with that little boy and they’re here. And it is amazing and I don’t want to leave it.”

As for Applegate, he told CBS Evening News that is was difficult to even understand that he will not be returning to the Lordstown plant for his next shift.

“When that last car pulled up and I had to go do my job on that … I mean there’s still hope that you’re still going to see some of your co-workers,” Applegate said. “It’s hard to even fathom that I’m not going to be coming back tomorrow.”

This year, GM announced it would stop production at four of its U.S. plants, including Detroit-Hamtramck and Warren Transmission in Michigan, Lordstown Assembly in Ohio, and Baltimore Operations in Maryland.

At the Lordstown plant, alone, about 4,500 American workers have been laid off since 2017, as well as 900 American workers who have been put out of a job in supporting industries in the area. This year, 1,600 GM workers are being laid off at the Lordstown plant.

The layoffs come after GM laid off about 1,500 American workers in Lordstown in 2018, while their Mexico production remains unaffected and production in China ramps up.

At the beginning of this year, GM executives began laying off 14,700 workers in the United States and Canada, with the majority of the layoffs concentrated in Michigan, Ohio, Maryland, Georgia, and Texas, including at least 3,300 American factory workers.

These layoffs included the mass layoff of at least 4,000 American workers in white-collar jobs for GM, many of whom were older and had worked at the corporation for more than two decades. Even in supporting industries, about 400 Americans are set to be laid off in the Lordstown, Ohio region.

Simultaneously, Barra has continued raking in about a $22 million a year salary.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder

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