President Trump has demanded General Motors to bring jobs back after closing the Lordstown Complex in Lordstown, Ohio that has been open since 1966. Trump has asked the Union to do more to keep jobs in the United States while moving jobs to foreign countries like Mexico and China while making hefty profits. The President blames General Motors Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra, the United Auto Workers and, Local 1112’s for the plants closing. Trump is demanding that the plant reopens or that it is sold to another company to use it.
Trump took to Twitter expressing his unhappiness toward Barra, CEO of GM about the Lordstown Ohio plant who he has accused of blaming UAW. In Trump’s tweet, he stated, “that our country is booming, I don’t care, I just want it open!”
The Lordstown Complex is located on 905 acres and is 6.2 million square feet. It is composed of three facilities and was the biggest employer in the area having an estimated 5,000 employees. In 2006 GM slowly began to eliminate workers slowly. They stopped the third shift on workers and by 2008 two shifts were canceled. Then in 2018, they announced the closing of the complex. In its history, the Lordstown Complex has produced approximate 16.5 million vehicles.
GM had announced in 2018 that they had planned to close three plants and move to Mexico. It is estimated that 15,000 workers would lose their jobs if that happens. GM claimed that the reason for their decision was due to low production in the plants and about 6,000 workers would be affected by the move. According to Autoweek, GM has become Mexico’s biggest auto producer and built 834,414 vehicles last year.
Dan Flores GM spokesman denied the allegation that Barra blamed the UAW for the closure of the plant. Flores also continued that the plant will stay idle until things are resolved between GM and the UAW. Flores stated that “their main focus remains on our employees and offering them jobs in our plants where we have growth opportunities,” according to The Business Journal.
Trump also talked about Local 1112’s president Dave Green on Twitter about the plant closing. Trump tweeted that Green needed to get his “act together and produce.”Trump continued that GM has let the country down and that he wants action for Lordstown fast.
In a statement to FOX 8, Dave Green explained that they are doing everything they can to get General Motors CEO Mary Barra to reinvest in the manufacturing plant. Talks between the UAW and Barra won’t happen to the fall and that they might be able to get a new product in the plant.. Green also gave Mahoning Valley and workers credit saying they were, “hard-working, loyal, dedicated and ready to help General Motors and this country build the cars and trucks of the future,” Green said.
Congressman Tim Ryan, D-13th District responded to Trump’s remarks about Dave Green. Ryan defended Green to President Trump and said that Trump shouldn’t talk about Green like that.Green stated, “he picks the union guy here who’s been dealing with all of the families,” according to WKBN 27.
In February the United Auto Workers labor union filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio claiming that GM breached the terms of a labor contract. The UAW in their lawsuit claim that between 2015- 2019 failed to comply with a collective bargaining agreement in which the plant would stay open or idled during this period. The union wanted GM to resolve this for the workers.
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Bernie Moreno who also owns several Cleveland-based car dealers had a plan to help save GM’s plant. Moreno had purposed to make the Chevrolet Cruze into an international ride-hailing fleet. He discussed this idea with GM in December and offered to buy almost 200,000 cars but the proposal fell through. If the proposal went through it would have allowed the plant to continue to operate and even would have created an extra shift for workers.
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke talked with representatives from the UAW and David Green. According to NBC News, he live-streamed the discussion on Facebook and discussed his feelings with NBC.O’Rourke felt that President Trump had added “insult to the injury” by blaming Green and the workers for what happened. O’Rourke pointed blame at Trump and his administration for GM’s decision through tax cuts making it easy for GM to make this move.
According to GM Authority, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said it was heartbreaking to see this happen to all the families and that bringing jobs back to the area is a priority.