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GM's Warren Transmission plant closes Friday, to worker dismay

Tracy Samilton
Michigan Radio

General Motors will close its Warren Transmission plant on Friday.

The plant made transmissions for two vehicles that GM is discontinuing: the Cadillac XTS, and Chevy Malibu.

Plant worker Danielle Murry says GM could have allocated other products to keep the plant open, but chose not to.

She says union workers made painful concessions during the last recession to help GM. 

"I was happy to do so, to save my job, to save the company that I work for," she says. "And now that they're on top and still making record-breaking profits, they're not willing to do that to save us."

Murry says she bought a home, her first ever, three weeks before GM announced it would unallocate the plant. She says whatever job GM offers her, she will have to accept it, even if it is out of state, because otherwise she will lose her benefits.

Credit Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
GM's Warren Transmission plant will shut down on August 2, 2019.

GM spokesman Jim Cain says all of the workers will get job offers at other plants, many of them in Michigan, close to the Warren plant.

"We know this is really difficult for some families, and we're very sensitive to that," says Cain. "But at the same time, we feel very good that we're creating opportunities for people, and not having to resort to the kind of cuts that you typically see in a recession."
UAW leaders say they will try to get GM to reopen the Warren plant, as well as plants in Lordstown, Ohio, and Baltimore, Maryland, during negotiations on the next four-year contract. The talks began this month.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.