Hundreds of GM workers affected by Warren Transmission plant closure

After 78 years, the General Motors transmission plant in Warren is closing its doors. 

About 260 hourly workers will be affected by the closure, which took effect at 1 p.m. Friday. Workers were aware the plant's shuttering was coming but will still be affected nonetheless. 

"I just don't understand how they can do this to us, how could we give so much of ourselves and get nothing in return," said Regina Duley, who's been a GM worker for more than 20 years. 

"General Motors could have invested here; we have a building of 2.7 million square feet. But they chose in this great economy to ship their business to Mexico and China," Ghana Goodwin-Dye, president of the UAW Local 909, said Friday morning.

The plant in the 23000 block of Mound is among four in the United States that will be idled - or unallocated as the company is calling it, meaning GM won't be ordering cars or parts from those plants anymore.

In a statement from General Motors it said, "The six speed transmission was a good product and was built with tremendous pride by the Warren team. We know this is an emotional time." 

It went on to say, "We have job opportunities for all hourly workers at the impacted plants. These are highly skilled employees, and we want them to stay with the company."

"In 2008 when we had to take recessions to save the company, I was happy to do so, to save my job, to save the company that I work for. Now that they're on top and still making record-breaking profits, they're not willing to do that for us and save us," Danielle Murry said. 

About a quarter of the 260 workers at Warren transmission have already accepted transfers to nearby GM plants in Toledo and Flint. Others are still waiting to hear back, and about 25 have instead opted to retire.

Friday's closing will be difficult no matter where they end up, as longtime workers like Duley left the building for the final time.

"This is my home; this is my family right here. For you to separate this, I feel like you don't care - we're just a number - that hurts," she said. 

Michigan is being hit especially hard by these shutdowns. The plant in Warren is closing as well as the Detroit Hamtramck Assembly in January 2020. The two other unallocated plants in the US are the Lordstown Assembly in Ohio, and Baltimore Operations in Maryland. Oshawa Assembly in Canada is also on the list.