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Retired Autoworker Ends 100 Day Vigil Outside Delphi's Lockport Plant

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – A retired auto worker -- who has been waving signs of solidarity outside the Delphi Plant in Lockport -- ended his 100-day vigil on Monday.

Along a busy stretch of Upper Mountain Road in Lockport -- directly across from the Delphi facility, 82-year-old Richard Cooper waves to passing vehicles. Some drivers sound their horn in support. But it is Cooper who is showing his support and solidarity for his union brothers and sisters of the United Auto Workers.

The retired General Motors worker has been driving from his home in Alden to Lockport in the last 100 days. Cooper worked for 31-years at the Chevy plant in Buffalo. He says he lived through a strike and understands the emotions that workers are feeling as they wait through the uncertainty at the local Delphi facility. But Cooper says both sides must agree to "drastic" changes if they want to survive in the auto industry.

Some have referred to Cooper as a "one man army." Cooper says Delphi workers have treated him like "gold" as he stood outside in all types of weather conditions in the last 100 days.

In fact, UAW Local 686 in Lockport even named Cooper their "man of the year."

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