Newark Chrysler plant shuts down

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - December 19, 2008 It was the last day of operation for the plant, putting hundreds of workers out of a job.

In its heyday, the plant employed 5,600 people. That number dwindled to 1,100 as the economy took a tumble.

"Everybody here is mad, upset, the whole gamut of emotions," said Sean White, a 15 year employee. "People feel like they got the carpet yanked from underneath them. They feel like there's really nothing out there for them after this. The economy is really bad, so it's a hard thing."

Another Worker, Jim Monaghan, is angry at the American public and lawmakers for, what he calls, a love affair with foreign made vehicles.

"Half of Congress is buying foreign cars. They should be mandated to buy American cars," Monaghan said. "If they don't, how patriotic is that?"

These employees know Delaware stands to lose more than $300 million a year in revenue tied to the Chrysler plant.

They also know they stand to lose a chance to find other good paying jobs.

For some, the timing of this shutdown made it that much more painful.

"We were supposed to shut down in '09 and they're like, you know, 'Sorry, we're shutting down right before Christmas," said Demetri Adamplous, a 10 year employee. "It was heartfelt today. A lot of people were crying and I'm about to tear up, I'm not going to lie."

There will be a skeleton crew left at the plant to complete the final closure. But, after 50 years and more than 8 million vehicles built, the plant is now part of history.

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