Production of the Jeep Cherokee in Toledo will end this week as production of the vehicle moves to Illinois.
TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) – At 5 p.m. on Thursday night, the last Jeep Cherokee will roll off the line in Toledo. Its departure for a plant in Illinois is causing a trickle-down effect on workers.
More than 3,000 Jeep workers will be back to work in the fall, but others won’t have a job waiting for them. That’s why important meetings were held here at the UAW Local 12 hall on Wednesday.
UAW member Tracey Curtis works for Toledo Molding and Die on Matzinger. Thursday will be her last day.
TMD supplies quarter panels and lift gates for the Jeep Cherokee.
But since Fiat Chrysler is driving the Cherokee away, there’s no work left to do.
“I love it. I loved it. I loved the people. everybody got along well. And I’m going to miss everybody. And the plant,” said Tracey Curtis.
When asked if it was more than just a job, she replied, “It was part of a family.”
Tracey came to the first of two meetings at the union hall, to learn about unemployment benefits and future employment.
Marvana Cortland also works at TMD and hopes to land a job at the new Dana or Detroit manufacturing plants.
“As long as you have the steps to take, there will be something better down the line. It’s actually very permanent but with the Local behind us, like I said, it will pan out,” Curtis said.
Of the ten local plants that supply parts for the Cherokee, five are closing permanently. UAW Local 12 president Bruce Baumhower said around 550 would be out of a job permanently.
It’s the Local 12’s goal to find work for every one of them.
“We’re always looking forward. You can spend all your time fretting over what could have or should have happened but we’re always trying to look forward and find a happy ending and I think that’s what will happen here,” Baumhower said.
More than 3,000 Cherokee workers at the Toledo North Jeep plant will only be laid off until the fall, when they’ll start making the next generation Wrangler. They have a meeting on Thursday at the plant for unemployment benefit information.