I am a retiree of GM/Delphi. When our plant closed, I was lucky enough to get an offer for a mutual retirement. A close friend of mine (another horsey person) hadn't worked as many years. Let me put a face to this issue.
Teresa lived on a small farm, raising cows and two sons. She hated to leave the area and family, but knew things were tough here with all the plant closings. She chose to transfer to the Mansfield plant. She commuted for the first year. He stayed here with his job, she stayed there and drove back and forth on weekends. The separation put a strain on the relationship. She finally found a perfect farm for the whole family. The lady would not come down enough in price, so they ended up renting it. They fixed up the barn, stocked the pond, did much needed repairs on the house, never being late on the rent. They planned on being there long term.
I had given Teresa one of my horses when I retired. She found a place in Mansfield to board her and her other horse until she found the farm. They fixed it up enough to bring the horses home. Her sons love the horses too. But they won't have them much longer. Someone is coming to look at her other mare today. I remember when she bought Vanity. We spent hours on the computer looking at horse ads. We went trail riding together.
Teresa got an eviction notice. The owner worried about how they would pay the rent with the plant closing, so gave her until the lease is up in September to get out. Her immediate plan is to sell everything they can and be nomads for a bit while they decide on their next move. She is very bright and resourceful. I am sure they will be OK. But that doesn't make losing your home any easier.
You know what the hardest part is? The nasty way some people treat us for losing our jobs! Envy over our good wages and nice lifestyles has created monsters in the community. Some people are actually glad that we're losing it all. I won't go on and on about it... Just let me say this: The work that I did inside that building is not something I would do for any less money! My husband has permanent damage from chemical and asbestos exposure and was serious hurt twice requiring back surgeries. I've worked a lot of places in my life, but never anywhere else did I stand there with sweat rolling down my legs in the winter! In the summers, I can remember saying to myself, "I know I'm going to pass out!" all the while observing the filth I would keel over in. I came home from work and pick metal out of my skin! I still have tiny marks all over my hands and arms from spark burns. I was a divorced woman raising a child alone. I gave up a nice office job to give her more opportunities.
The people in these plants supported their communities in many ways. Not only did we raise all kinds of money and donations for a gazillion causes, take part in walks, runs, food drives, voter registration drives, you name it, but our tax dollars supported the schools and city services, and our paychecks were spent in the restaurants and local shops. Many of these businesses have since gone under.
Here is an excerpt from a Mansfield newspaper:
Eighty-three area pastors are asking everyone participate in a day of
June 24 in response to the recent announcement that General Motors
Mansfield/Ontario Metal Center will close, along with many
As we go through these hard times, faith-based people need
together," he said. "We're in a time of depression and emotions are
up and down,
but we can be calm knowing that we have a God who will sustain
I am asking a simple thing of you today... Take 15 seconds right now (more if you want!) and pray for these people as well as all the others have that lost or are facing loss of their homes because of this financial crisis. I'm sure you must know someone affected by these hard times. Put a face on your prayer.