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Autororker upheaval: Families split, children left

General Motors employees in Lordstown and other factories in Michigan and Maryland who are targeted to close within one year say that moving will force them to leave relatives, even their children, in some cases.

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) – Hundreds of workers on four General Motors plants that are beaten to close this year face a painful choice: Take the company's offer to work at another factory – possibly hundreds of miles away – Even if it means leaving their families, their homes and everything they have built. Or stay and risk losing their highly paid jobs.

The car manufacturer says that almost all of its blue-collar workers with jobs at risk have jobs waiting for them. Many from the targeted factories in Michigan, Ohio and Maryland have already voluntarily transferred to plants in the Midwest and South, who do not want to take a chance.

Others are still anxious about the decision, unsure whether to sell their homes or hang on hoping their plants can reopen.

The car manufacturer says that the changes announced in November are needed to cut costs and put money on new cars. The plant's closure must still be negotiated with the union, which gives workers a shot of hope.



Anthony Sarigianopoulos has 25 years at GM's factory in Lordstown, Ohio, where the latest Chevrolet Cruze will roll off the assembly line once later this month.

He has two sons in primary school and a former wife he joins with, and his parents are just down the street in Youngstown suburb where he grew up. 1

9659003] Sarigianopoulos, who checks and repairs cars at the end of the line, knows he is fortunate to have a shot at work, even if it is somewhere else – unlike most of the 8,000 white-staff employees, GM is and those who are

But he also does not want to move and miss ballgames and school concerts, and knows that his boys will be almost out of high school when he leaves.

Volunteering to leave now for another facility would a lso believe he could not return if Lordstown reopened. But if he is forced to transfer when the plant closes, the possibility of returning is still open during his union.

"It's part of the chess game," he said.

So Sarigianopoulos, 48, filled a notebook with charts and graphs describing the advantages and disadvantages of transmission. What he has decided for now, unless he is forced to transfer is to stay and hope the plant will get a new vehicle to build.



Andrea Repasky didn't have much of a choice. Although it meant saying goodbye to her older parents, a niece she loves lovingly, her favorite pizza and her mother's wedding soup.

She had to keep her job because she is a breast cancer survivor and runs the risk of the disease coming back. "I couldn't afford to let health benefits run out," she said.

Saw the 42-year-old factory manager voluntarily leaving the Youngstown area for a new job in Indiana, so she could get closer to home rather than being sent to a plant in Tennessee or Texas.

"It was my goal to be a drive away if something God forbade happened to my family," she said.

Repasky has been working for over a month at GM's truck factory in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where she shares an apartment with a friend who also transferred it.

While desperately missing the family and all about her hometown, she said her decision was easier because she is not married and has no children. Some colleagues moved without their children so that the youth could stay and finish the school year.

"I cry when I think about it," Repasky said. "How do they explain to their kids that Mom or Dad is going and they want to see you on the weekends?"



Tiffany Davis feels the stress of it both at home and at the only primary school in Lordstown where she teaches fifth grade.

Students know they will say goodbye to some of their classmates in a few months. It includes three of the 18 in her class.

"They are not the spunky, merry crew they were at the beginning of the year," said Davis, 35.

She and her husband, who worked on the GM assembly line 17 years, talk almost every night about what you will do next.

"It has taken over our lives, but how could it not?" Davis said. "It's drainage, it's exhausting. Whatever decision we make, we're worried it'll be the wrong thing."

The couple decided not to transfer for now. But they sell their house and move with their two children to their son-in-law's loft so they don't pay for two homes if they are forced to go. They also interrupted a summer holiday and cut out cable TV and pizza nights on Friday.

"We are removing our whole life right now because we have no answers," she said. "We know that whatever happens, we must follow GM."



By the way, two decades after the creation of New Beginnings Outreach Ministries in Youngstown, Ohio, Melvin Trent stood before about 150 members of his church in early February and told them he left.

His wife, an engineer with GM, was sent to his SUV factory in Arlington, Texas.

"You could hear people crying through the whole congregation. One person said," It feels like my mother died, "he said." For some, I've been the only pastor they've known. "

His wife has already moved, and he will join her after his son graduated from high school in May. "We've never been apart," he said.

Trent, 55, who retired after 35 years with the automaker, said that it was a "no-brainer" to accept the move, but not a simple decision. 19659003] "The first thing I did was go to church, and I cried like a baby because I left something I gave birth and something I loved, "He said." But that was the right decision for our family. "He added:" I do not leave my natural family, but my church family. "


Associated Press author Tom Krisher in Detroit contributed 19659044] Copyright © 2019 Associated Press All Rights Reserved This material cannot be published , broadcast, written or redistributed.

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