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GM workers taking in bankruptcy, its effects

  Bankruptcy  -   POSTED: 2009/06/01 15:06

For General Motors Corp. workers and others across the nation, reaction to the automaker's historic bankruptcy filing Monday and the effect on their plants and lives ranged from resignation to fear.


Markis Coleman, 30, a GM employee at a plant in Orion Township, Mich., north of Detroit, said shortly before the bankruptcy was announced that there is little he can do even as much needs to be done.

"I'm going with the flow," the 10-year company veteran said Monday morning. "It's all in their hands. I'm going to let them do it. But they need to change things, though. They have to change."

The once-mighty corporate giant whose brands were household names and plants the lifeblood of many U.S. communities filed its Chapter 11 petition in New York Monday. It marks the fourth-largest bankruptcy in U.S. history and the largest for an industrial company.

GM also revealed Monday that it will permanently close nine more plants and idle three others.

The closing of a metal stamping plant near Mansfield, Ohio, will force the city to cut jobs because it will lose one of its biggest employers and water customers. The plant's roughly 1,200 workers make parts for many of GM's slow-selling trucks and sport utility vehicles.

"This is so devastating," said Mansfield Mayor Donald Culliver. "We're all going through budgetary problems and this just adds fuel to the fire."

Small businesses that supply the plant also will suffer, he said. "That's what is going to hurt us even more than losing GM," Culliver said.

Rickey Holmes, 28, a Xerox contract worker for GM at its Renaissance Center headquarters in Detroit, agreed that the turbulence spreads well beyond those who collect a check directly from the automaker.


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