General Motors’ decision to close 21 plants and cut its work force by 74,000 is about the worst possible news for thousands of GM employees, their families and the communities where they live. Here are some of those voices.
* “We’re just holding our breath. We don’t know what’s going to happen. You just have to look for another job. It reaches down to every nook and cranny in your life.”
--George Grishman, 64, who has worked at GM’s Arlington, Tex., plant seven years.
* “I’ve done this before. When I was in California, they gave us three days. They told us on Monday and closed it on Wednesday. It’s no big deal for me. It’s more like seasonal work.”
--James Williams, 49, who has faced layoffs 15 times in his 25 years as a GM auto worker.
* “I think the handwriting is on the wall. You’d better get ready. There’s so many people out of work. I don’t know if there’s anything out there.”
--Bill Anderson, 52, a 28-year plant employee at Arlington.
* “It’s going to be hard, but I can manage. I’ve lived by trial and error. After a few layoffs, you learn to save. I’m still young enough to start over.”
--Wayne McBeth, 29, an eight-year worker at the Arlington plant, who said he will go into real estate if he loses his job.
* “We consider we’re living right now. We haven’t been shot yet. We build the best car in the world, and our gut feeling is we’ll still be around.”
--Jimmy Hyde, treasurer of the UAW local at a plant in Doraville, Ga.