Lights out at Lamp Plant

WARREN – About 158 workers still employed at the Dana Street General Electric Lamp Plant are facing uncertainty about their futures as the only remaining local GE assembly plant prepares to cease operations Friday.

When the closure was announced in April, 198 workers were employed at the plant. Since then, nine employees have transferred to other GE locations and 17 others have retired, said Alicia Gauer, manager of Internal Communications at GE Lighting’s Nela Park offices in Cleveland.

Scott Moore, former president of the International Union of Electrical Workers-Communication Workers of America Local 722, confirmed last week he is among those who have transferred from the plant. Moore said he moved in September to the company’s Ravenna Distribution Center which is not targeted for closure.

Moore had lobbied hard to keep the Warren location open after the company targeted it for closure early last year, and then he helped to negotiate plans for a new product line at the plant along with a new labor contract that the company accepted. However, members of the local voted in March against the contract and within a week, the company announced that without the amended pact, the plant would close early this year.

Moore, reached by phone late last week, said he had little information about the remaining workers at that Warren location.

Gauer said, however, that several other employees there are in the process of interviewing for new GE positions, and many employees remain on the GE preferential placement list, which would allow them to be considered for GE positions that may open up in the future to meet their qualifications.

Following Friday’s planned closure, 11 workers will remain to help with equipment removal and cleanup. The equipment will transfer to other GE Lighting sites in the coming weeks and months, Gauer said, but noted plans for the site are still under consideration, and no final determinations have been made.

In the meantime, demolition is ongoing at other area GE plants, including the former Trumbull Lamp Plant at 1313 W. Market Street. One of two buildings that had been connected by a walkway across Austin Avenue on Warren’s Southwest side, has been reduced to rubble as crews worked last week to clean up debris at the site.

The annex building, on the east side of Austin Avenue, is expected to remain and be marketed for sale, a company spokesman said previously.

In addition, deconstruction has begun at the Niles Glass Plant, 403 North Main Street. It is set to complete this spring. The glass furnace building near the Mahoning Glass Plant also will also be deconstructed this spring, but the front office and warehouse portions of the building are expected to remain, Gauer said.

A GE Lamp Plant in Ravenna also will close permanently this month. The plant had employed 164 workers when that closure was announced last March.