America’s loss of an iconic brand of muscle car parallels Ireland’s loss of Waterford Crystal in Raise the Last Glass. General Motors originally manufactured Pontiac Firebirds, GTOs and Trans Ams in Pontiac, Michigan. The cars were driven by Burt Reynolds in the movie Smokey and the Bandit and were almost characters unto themselves in TV shows such as the Dukes of Hazard and Knight Rider. GM announced in April that it would eliminate Pontiac as part of cuts to win continued government financing. It followed this news on June 1 by announcing it would shutter an assembly plant in Pontiac that employs 1,360 people.
WIDE ANGLE multimedia producer Renee Feltz speaks about the loss of GM jobs in Pontiac with 36-year GM veteran worker, Brian Larkin. Larkin is Vice President of the United Auto Workers Union Local 594. He discusses how GM has employed his family for generations, the end of production of the iconic Pontiac brand of cars, and what the loss of GM jobs will mean for workers in Pontiac and the town itself.
Click here to listen to the interview: