- Spencer Platt/Getty Images
- General Motors announced that it would stop producing cars at three North American plants and slash its workforce.
- One of the plants being shuttered is in Lordstown, Ohio.
- Ohio politicians blasted the move.
- “For decades, workers in the Mahoning Valley have made a commitment to GM, and today GM let Northeast Ohio down,” GOP Sen. Rob Portman said in a statement.
- Ohio Democrats also blasted GM for not using savings from the GOP tax law to keep jobs in the US.
General Motors’ announcement Monday that it would stop producing cars at three North American factories and lay off a significant portion of its workforce was met with immediate condemnation from lawmakers of all political stripes.
The automaker announced that factories in Lordstown, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; and Ontario, Canada would stop producing vehicles by the end of 2019. In addition, GM will also lay off 15% of its salaried employees. The company said changing consumer demand and industry changes made the moves necessary.
GOP Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio blasted the decision and argued the company was turning its back on American workers.
“I am deeply frustrated with General Motors’ decision to shut down its Lordstown plant and disappointed with how the hardworking employees there have been treated throughout this process,” Portman said.
The Lordstown plant only produces a single model, the Chevy Cruze, and GM had already cut jobs and shifts at the plant. GM did not reveal exactly what will happen to employees at the plants since the company must still negotiate with the employees’ respective unions. Portman pushed the company to shift other production activities to the plant to support the workers in the area.
“For decades, workers in the Mahoning Valley have made a commitment to GM, and today GM let Northeast Ohio down,” Portman concluded.
On the other end of political spectrum, Ohio Democrats including Sen. Sherrod Brown and uS Rep. Tim Ryan also blasted GM’s move.
“The workers at Lordstown are the best at what they do, and it’s clear once again that GM doesn’t respect them,” Brown tweeted. “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.”
Brown highlighted the fact that GM received a large tax cut from the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was passed in December 2017. The automaker saved just shy of $340 million from the tax law just the first quarter of 2018.
“GM gained record tax breaks from the GOP’s tax scam – and chose not to invest that money in American workers,” Brown said. “As a result of that corporate greed, thousands of workers will soon be out of a job. Disgraceful.”
Ryan, who represents the district where the Lordstown plant is located, attacked GM and Republicans for turning their “back on us when we need them the most.”
“This is a bad combination of greedy corporations and policymakers with no understanding of economic development,” Ryan said.
In particular, Ryan pointed the finger at President Donald Trump, who promised in a visit to the area in 2017 that the jobs were “all coming back” to Ohio.
“So far, President Trump has been asleep at the switch and owes this community an explanation,” Ryan said. “We tried to get his attention on this issue two years ago. He promised us that his massive corporate tax cut would lead to dramatic reinvestments in our communities. That’s clearly not happening.”