Ford Plant in Norfolk Closes

Thursday, June 28, 2007; 12:34 PM

NORFOLK, Va. -- The last Ford pickup truck rolled off the assembly line at the Norfolk assembly plant just after seven o'clock this morning.

Plant managers bought the truck and it went by lottery to worker Corey Bauswell of Portsmouth. He drove it out about 8:20 a-m.

Ford announced last year that it was closing the Norfolk factory, which made F-150 pickups. There were 23-hundred workers there last year, but that number has dwindled.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that workers were filing out of the plant at 8 a-m wearing memorial T-shirts. The shirts are royal blue with no writing on the front. The back reads: R-I-P Ford Norfolk Assembly Plant April 20, 1925 - June 28, 2007.

Chris Kimmons, president of United Auto Workers Local 919, said he hadnt initially intended to be in Norfolk for the plants last day of operations.

But he showed up at the union hall around 6:15 a-m. He said he decided to be "with the guys." He likened it to attending a funeral, saying ... quote ... "You dont want to go, but you know youve got to be there."

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Information from: Virginian-Pilot, http://www.pilotonline.com

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

APNP 06-28-07 0944EDT


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