General Motors CEO Mary Barra remains tight-lipped on the future of the Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant. According to a report from the Columbus Dispatch, the CEO once again failed to reassure workers’ futures at the facility, which exclusively builds the Chevrolet Cruze sedan for the United States market.
Barra reportedly sat down with Ohio Senator Rob Portman (R), who “pressed” the CEO to make a commitment to the plant’s future. According to the senator, she wouldn’t give a public commitment.
Senator Portman said he “pressed her to make a public commitment to the Lordstown plant and reinvest its workforce. I am disappointed she did not do so, but I’m going to keep fighting for this community.”
The Republican senator’s meeting with Barra follows a similar meeting between the GM CEO and Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown. Ohio’s other senator reportedly questioned Barra on why the Lordstown plant wasn’t considered for 2019 Chevrolet Blazer production, which Barra said would be “too expensive” to retool the Ohio plant. Senator Brown said he continued to speak with President Trump about assistance for the Ohio manufacturing plant.
Lordstown has undergone a fall from grace since the first-generation Chevrolet Cruze. The plant once ran with three shifts, but the workforce as dwindled to just one shift of workers to build the compact sedan. The latest round of layoffs perhaps stung the most; as 1,500 workers lost their jobs, GM announced plans to build the 2019 Blazer in Mexico.
UAW members have also appealed to President Trump to intervene in the situation. This past summer, UAW Local 1112 President David Green penned a letter to the president asking for some sort of assistance after the latest round of tax cuts for corporations, including GM.
“The fact (is) that many of our workers here in Ohio voted for you, and for you to remain silent on this issue is disturbing. What’s more, GM recently received a huge tax break through the new tax policy. The cut in the corporate tax rate will save General Motors billions of dollars,” Green wrote this past July.
Both Senators Portman and Brown said GM “must keep the Lordstown plant open” and both will continue fighting for a positive resolution.