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Janesville area residents react to GM decision

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Kathleen Foody
June 26, 2009

Patrons of Hedberg Public Library in Janesville were largely unaware Thursday afternoon that GM’s small-car production would go to Michigan. Many were saddened by the news but said they expected Michigan would become home to the small-car plant. Their answers to the Gazette’s next question varied widely: What should Janesville and GM workers do now?


“It’s a sad day, but we have to look forward and look for other opportunities to bring into the city. We’ve been dependent on them for a long time.”


—Terry Arneson, Janesville


“I put in 38 years (at GM), and my son put in 23 … he’s got his name in for transfer to other plants. That’s it … he hopes if he goes to a new plant there will still be some sort of retirement plan like we have now.”


—Donald McGarvie, Janesville


“Maybe (the city) needs to wait. I know Janesville needs something.”


—Ruth Oliver, Janesville


“Even if they work down to a smaller car or become more fuel-efficient, I don’t think the salary (for workers) would be enough to sustain. You would be living paycheck to paycheck.”


—Joe Morris, Janesville


“It’s really pathetic (of GM). I think Janesville should get a shot because these people have worked hard. They should never give up hope though.”


—Betsy Piper, Evansville


“I don’t really know what to say. It was like they put all their eggs in that basket. I figured (Michigan) would get it because they’ve been down and out longer than we have.”


—Wesley Adkins, Hanover



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