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What happens when an auto plant closes and thousands lose jobs?

It's ''a horrifying experience,'' according to a former Ford worker at a plant shut down in Mahwah, N.J., in June 1980. ''You always think it happens to someone else, and then it happens to you,'' he says.

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A Cornell University survey of the former Mahwah workers found that more than half of the 3,700 who lost jobs are still unemployed and others are working only part-time. Unemployment benefits have run out for all except a few long-term employees. Many have moved away.UAW says the Cornell survey results are typical of those made at other closed plants around the country. It is preparing to take the surveys to Congress with a request for assistance.m

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