Lordstown worker responds to recent letter to the editor

To the editor:

In response to Richard Teter: Mr. Teter (March 2 letter to the editor). I am a Lordstown worker who will punch my last hour next Friday. I believe that every job everywhere in this country should be fought for and recognized. When the Shell station on the east side of Salem was announced to close, I was stunned to hear people project what was coming and not recognize the job loss for those people

Lordstown employed over 4,000 people. I do not know the numbers for Magna seating, Jamestown or Ledach. But rest assure it’s no small number. Transfers are offered: Ohio, Indiana, New York, Texas, Michigan Tennessee and Missouri. If there are openings. There are no buyouts, buy downs etc. There are however involuntary moves. Meaning we will receive letters stating we need to report to a plant with an opening. We can say no. No means we have no medical, no unemployment. Without those two things our ability to look for comparable jobs or retraining is not doable.

We received 13 weeks notice. In the last 13 weeks I have said goodbye to people who took transfers. People who have made the tough choices to go and leave their family behind. Leaving aging parents or pulling your high schooler out is a choice so many are making. I will be making my choice over the next couple of months if Mary Barra doesn’t make it for me before then.

I will be leaving my mother and mother-in-law, husband, five sons and two daughters behind. This community has been so supportive of my children and given them so many opportunities that this is the place for them.

We are not asking nor expect sympathy. We appreciate the support. We know what the trickle down effect of this will be. The problem is people just do not care if they buy American products produced in America. They do not look anymore. Mary Barra and every CEO of every company banks on the fact that American consumers don’t look and don’t care.

Next time you are walking around walk through a dealer lot. Just because it says Ford, Chevrolet or Dodge doesn’t mean American built. Volkswagen and Mercedes doesn’t mean German built. Honda and Nissan are not just built in Japan. Check your VIN numbers or the lettering on the sticker: 1,4,5 are made in America; 2 is Canada; 3 is Mexico; Japan is J; South Korea is K; England is S; Germany is W; and, Sweden or Finland is Y.

Mr. Teter what about all the other workers who will lose their jobs because of the loss of Lordstown? We care about them also.

Melissa Tonkinson,