Lordstown, GM, Francis Turnage discussed on Morning Edition


Turnage started working at the GM plant in Lordstown in nineteen seventy two doing everything from assembly to welding I used to have to lay down in the cars with my feet dangling underneath cooking up some wires the work was hard but the pay was good Turnage witnessed the plant's heyday when it was bustling with more than ten thousand workers and over the decades she saw a transformation I looked around one day and I saw a lot of the jobs were empty and more we replaced with robots it got lonely in I actually were going here and make friends say Hey how you doing bro talking to robots you know because I was all I had to talk to sometimes she retired but the plants with fewer workers was still a pillar of the local economy then GM announced it was killing the Chevy Cruze and shutting the Lordstown plant down workers were laid off or reassigned even those robots went idle and Francis Turnage she wept for everyone who had to move away and everyone who was left behind seem like it was just another blow so far this is a familiar story in this part of Ohio but it's not the end of the story those robots are powering back up as the plant prepares to make electric pickups for Lordstown motors earlier this spring dentition ski was coaxing a machine back to life for for the key it's sad you know for about a year and so tired you know if you don't give up in the morning your joints are working to get a lot of the tools designed to build the Chevy Cruze can be repurposed for the electric pick up George they're not as worked at the GM plant for thirty three years after it shut down he was retired and running a coffee shop I was just sitting around and putting on what extra pounds so now he's back in the plant testing out those old robots before reprogramming them something doesn't work the nice thing is we have a lot of extra robots that we're not going to need a huge chunk of the factory is dark cold and empty except for the occasional worker passing through on a bicycle the.

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