Hundreds protest looming GM layoffs outside auto show preview

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Outside the Detroit auto show crowds gathered to protest the coming General Motors layoffs.

The contrast could not have been more striking - hundreds of demonstrators marched outside Cobo Center Friday as thousands were dressed to the nines inside for the auto show charity preview.

An array of autoworkers and community groups protested gm's plan to idle five plants---jeopardizing thousands of jobs, threatening a number of communities.

"Enough is enough," Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan).  "When they continue to tell us that we can't survive unless we go to Mexico that is bullsh**."

Newly elected Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib joined demonstrators and reminded the crowd people were forced from their neighborhood in Poletown to make way for GM's Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant more than 30 years ago.

It is now one of the five facilities in the U.S. and Canada on the chopping block.

"The Canadians bailed them out. we gave them millions," said John Neal, from Oshawa, Ontario. 

FOX 2: "And for that you're getting what?"

"Nothing," said Neal.

Earlier on Friday the UAW held a candlelight vigil, with its members holding out hope that somehow those plants and their jobs will be spared.

Celso Duque and mike plater are from Local 22.

"I'm looking forward to getting to the table with General Motors and see if we can get a product to our facilities," said Plater, who works at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant.

"If jobs keep getting shipped overseas, if there's no work available what's going to be there for our kids, our grandkids, and the next generation," said Celso Duque from the Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Plant.

But GM says the move to "unallocate" plants is a part of a multi-billion-dollar cost saving measure that will strengthen its core business.

"We all know how broad the impact of one of these shutdowns really is," said Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist.

Gilchrist addressed the UAW crowd near Hart Plaza. He says the Whitmer administration has been in contact with GM.

"We're in conversations still trying to learn everything and what's going to happen. we we're really concerned about the human impact of what's happening," Gilchrist said. "There are a lot of people with a lot of needs in Michigan and we want to make sure that they know they're going to be supported by their government."

Negotiations between the UAW and GM will begin this summer, the fate of the five plants will loom large.