The Lordstown General Motors plant will officially close its doors March first of next year, per WFMJ out of Youngstown.
The TV station's reporting that employees of the GM plant, that's been open since 1966, were notified of the closure date in a meeting this morning, right after a report that GM is closing it's Canadian plant.
Back in 2017, GM announced that it was cutting it's third shift at the Lordstown plant, which reduced the plant's staff by about 12-hundred employees. Back in April of this year, another 15-hundred employees were cut from the staff after they were told production would be cut down to one shift per day, leaving a little more than 14-hundred employees left on staff. In July, GM pointed to new tariffs on the auto industry as "detrimental" to their company.
Word from WFMJ is that the head of the UAW said that they will "keep fighting" to get keep that Lordstown plant up and running.
Meanwhile, there's been reaction from state, local, and federal leaders, including U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown from Ohio who released the following statement:
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown today blasted General Motors’ decision to lay off its final shift of workers and close its Lordstown plant in March of 2019. Earlier this year, GM announced plans to build the new Chevy Blazer in Mexico on the same day the company ended the second shift at a plant. GM received record tax breaks as a result of the GOP’s tax bill last year, and has eliminated jobs instead of using that tax windfall to invest in American workers.
“The workers at Lordstown are the best at what they do, and it’s clear once again that GM doesn’t respect them. Ohio taxpayers rescued GM, and it’s shameful that the company is now abandoning the Mahoning Valley and laying off workers right before the holidays. Even worse, the company reaped a massive tax break from last year’s GOP tax bill and failed to invest that money in American jobs, choosing to build its Blazer in Mexico,” said Brown. “GM owes the community answers on how the rest of the supply chain will be impacted and what consequences its disastrous decision will have on the Mahoning Valley and our state. My office stands ready to do everything we can to help these workers. This decision is corporate greed at its worst.”
GM has eliminated nearly 3,000 jobs at the plant over the last two years. After the GOP tax overhaul, GM is able to bring their $6.9 billion in overseas cash back to the U.S. at less than half of the tax rate the corporation would formerly have paid, and immediately deduct the cost of any new investments in plant and equipment. Despite these tax cuts and the company’s record revenues as reported in their 2016 SEC filing, GM is still moving forward with the Lordstown layoffs.
Brown has been a champion of workers at the GM plant. In April, when GM announced plans for layoffs in Lordstown, Brown wrote to GM CEO Mary Barra condemning the layoffs and urging GM to reverse its decision by using the tax windfall the company received from the recent tax cuts to invest in the Lordstown facility and its workers. Brown also took to the Senate floor to call on GM to invest in Ohio workers.
Brown has demanded answers from GM, arguing that Ohioans deserve answers as to why the Lordstown plant is cutting jobs despite having more cash on hand following the GOP tax cuts. Brown said GM cannot pocket billions of dollars in tax cuts and turn around and fire Ohio workers whose livelihoods depend on these jobs.
Brown has spoken with GM CEO Mary Barra and President Trump about the plant directly. Brown and Barra met in Brown’s office on June 5.
Earlier this year, Brown introduced his American Cars, American Jobs Act, as a way to support Ohio’s auto industry and keep auto jobs in America. Brown’s legislation would:
· Give customers a $3,500 discount when they buy cars made in America. This would cover all passenger vehicles made in Ohio and nearly 100 cars and trucks nationwide.
· Revoke a GOP tax cut on overseas profits from auto manufacturers that ship jobs overseas.