Schoolchildren Pen Letters To GM CEO Mary Barra And Ask To Keep Lordstown Plant Open22
GM CEO Mary Barra is in for a heartfelt plea from thousands of area schoolchildren in the Mahoning Valley area of Ohio, home to the Lordstown car production plant.
The Detroit Free Press reported Friday that schoolkids have penned “Christmas Wish” letters to GM CEO Mary Barra and each of them asked the executive to reconsider the Ohio plant’s future. Lordstown is one of four manufacturing plants in the United States that GM plans to idle next year, and could possibly close.
In total, 20 school districts participated in the campaign, which is part of the “Drive It Home” campaign to help GM understand the impact the Lordstown plant’s closure will have on the area. Children of many ages wrote that the pending closure would upend families, leave their parents without a healthy income, and many simply said the area was their home.
“I personally have many (diseases) and if the Lordstown closes, I won’t be able to afford my medicine,” fifth-grader Brian Davis wrote in one of the letters to Barra.
The letters underscore the human element to such a decision, though Barra thus far hasn’t hinted Lordstown has a future. She reportedly said she would keep an open mind after meeting with Michigan and Ohio lawmakers earlier this month, but the plant’s future will be determined as the United Auto Workers negotiate a new labor contract with the automaker next year.
GM must successfully negotiate the plant’s closure and cannot simply shut the plant down. Thus, the plant will be idled next year until a decision is made. Should the plant close, it will sweep away 1,600 jobs from the area. The figure does not include thousands more who were laid off prior to the announcement; Lordstown once ran three shifts to keep up with demand for the Chevrolet Cruze.
The automaker said it will gladly accept the letter when they’re delivered and a spokesperson said GM is working hard to find job opportunities for those affected by the layoffs.
David Green, UAW Local 1112 President, said the relocation opportunities are just a way for GM to try and spin the negative news.
“I still have 700 people who’ve been laid off in the last couple of years who have not been able to relocate,” said Green. “GM says that because they want to reframe it. But they can’t just relocate those people.”
- Sweepstakes Of The Month: Win a 2023 Corvette Z06 Convertible. Details here.
Because GM is actually a political party and simultaneously a charity for the unemployed, right?
Isn’t this getting kids to be political operatives?
Isn’t this forcing political crap on the kids?
It says the school district is involved, so that means adults ordering kids to participate in politics. Did you like the gay marriage debate being argued in front of your kids? How about the kitty grabbing, and the Supreme Court calendar review? If you didn’t like kids getting involved in politics they don’t need, they don’t need this, they should be learning math and writing.
Look at the facts. 95% of these kids won’t end up living in Michigan. Or working at GM. Ask them! They will be working in NY on bond markets or real estate. They don’t want to be like their parents. They want to be like their parents’ boss, the Prez!
It’s really low to mobilize children like this. Is a video with sad puppy eyes next?
Nobody likes putting families out of work, but GM is at least offering to relocate some of them, and the writing was on the wall years ago that a US plant couldn’t survive on one compact sedan alone. Should they have spent the money to re-tool Lordstown for the Blazer a long time ago? Maybe, maybe not, who knows.
So I dunno, maybe mom and dad should’ve gotten their friends and family to buy more cars instead of trucks and SUVs? It’s funny how the anti-union, pro-free-market people go quiet when this happens.
“So I dunno, maybe mom and dad should’ve gotten their friends and family to buy more cars instead of trucks and SUVs?”
Or maybe GM should have built a better compact sedan, rather than the world’s most boring one… then people would have bought it.
Marry Barra has a pretty good puppy dog face as I recall from the ignition switch hearings. I am sure she used it well when she met with the politicians the other week.
Good luck kids but don’t hold your breath on hearing anything back from Miss Mary. I seriously doubt she cares at all about them. She wants cheap labor and she can get it in Mexico, not in Ohio.
If there is anyone in the world that has forgotten where she came from it is Mary Barra. Her father worked in the same types of plants she is closing.
The big issue here is that these plants and their local government want them to stay open, but there’s no way for all of them to stay open for the next few years. GM doesn’t have enough products to fill the factories at the moment, and they can’t come up with half a dozen new products within one or two years (Three years from start of development to debut is the minimum for a car based on an existing platform, from my observations) and they can’t just move Mexican or Chinese production to U.S. production overnight, either. They have to find long term solutions to their problem, and that begins with cutting poor management and pulling funds from low-profit assets in order to make their cars better and more competitive.
Could you imagine if the local mall planned on closing because everyone shops online and their stores aren’t mking enough money, then everyone in the area protesting to keep it open? Sure, hundreds of jobs would be affected, but 80% of the people who wanted the mall to stay open wouldn’t shop there. It’s been a long time since i’ve heard someone say that they wanted a compact like a Civic, Corolla, Mazda 3, or an Elantra. I hear people talking about suvs like the CRV, Traverse, and Expedition every day. People love the seating position, utility, and look of new SUVs(I am not one of those people, for the most part). Just wait until there are $24,000 electric CUVs… they’ll sell like pickup trucks.
GM is getting rid of the Cruise, CT6, Impala, LaCrosse, and Volt regardless of if the plants close or remain open, and there’s no way that they can come up with 5 new vehicles to fill those voids AND move the production of 4-5 cars more to keep each plant near capacity. It’s a sad reality, but It’s business. Just be grateful that robots haven’t taken even more jobs in the automotive manufacturing business. Heck, 3D printers will steal manufacturing jobs too.
Thank you for the dose of reality here in the sea of delusion.
I live here and have had friends and family in this plant for years. Lay offs are just a way of life at Lordstown over the decades. They have lost many more jobs over the years than this round. Heck the steel plants did ten times the damage when they left.
Some tend to forget that the bottom line is GM is buisness to make money. They for decades made crap cars built under poorly negotiated UAW contracts that required GM to pay them 80% of their wages even if they sat at home. This lead to it being cheaper to build the cars and dump them at a smaller loss on Enterprise.
Back then the leaders at GM had no backbone to make the difficult decisions. They would not cut poor performing cars, inefficient plants, models and brands that just were not practical in the present market and negotiating better contracts with the UAW that made them part of the profits based on the companies performance. If they had a share in the profitability things would have been much different,
Lordstown has been transformed several times and suffered more forgettable cars (Vega) over the years.
The truth was the new Cruze was awarded to the plant at a time it was a reward to get. GM has had a good UAW relationship here since the bail out.
The market changed in ways none of the saw this coming as fast as it did.
Contrary to what some say and think here building a value priced, low profit economy sedan is one of the most difficult ICE powered vehicles to build.
GM hold no advantages here. This is not a non union plant, this is not a car with a large loyal following to were a drop in sales is no where as critical. This is not a wide spread global car that can spread cost out.
GM also has legacy cost yet and older plants than the Asian models that enjoy union free plants and brand new plants that can and are more efficient. GM also does not import many of the parts as the Asians do on many models.
As For Mexico, it is there and it will be used. The quality is just the same and labor is lower. The harsh reality is not everything is going to be built here anymore.
The truth is most of the parts in the. Blazer drivelines will be American made and exported from Springhill TN to Mex just as my HHR drive line was.
Let’s also not forget GM is working to export models from America to other markets now. They have just converted the Acadia to LHD and are now shipping them down under. We will see more of this in cases were it makes economic sense.
The bottom line is GM is a for profit company in a fast changing very competitive market. GM is not a Charity.
GM has plans but at this point they can not speak of them. For them to move a new model to this plant they need one first. Second they will put the new vehicle up for local UAW to bid on. This make negotiations more competitive for GM to make a deal. So till then nothing is going to be promised or said.
Lordstown has some things going against it but they have some good things going for it. The UAW local has been good to work with. The plant is near a large number of GM parts plants. The plant is on a rail line and has its own entrance on the Ohio Turnpike.
We will not see much on this for a while but I expect in a couple years this plant has a shot to return.
At worst it would make a prime Amazon distribution center that really might be better than bringing in another vehicle.
Sorry, but at $22 Million a year, it is her job to recognize trends that are happening, not three years after everyone else figured it out. If she cannot work with what she has on her plate in front of her, how can we ever have trust in her EV/AV Utopian vision?
BTW. the pay at these Amazon distribution centers is about $13-15 an hour. Any city of any size can expect several of these centers in their areas in the coming years. It is not a viable replacement for a facility as large as Lordstown.
If you know better then why are you only a poster that complains on the web?
Put up or shut up!
FYI Amazon Starts at $15 and is better than welfare.
The area has a pro union rep and has a difficult time bringing in jobs because of it. Many as it is have to drive 1-2 hours for gainful employment. This has been the case for several decades.
Anyone who has worked in assembly plants that there are gaps to employment and considerable layoffs.
I was on a line for a short while at another company, the first thing co workers told me was I would not work a full year for the first 15 years. My first lay-off was one month in for 6 months.
That was ok as I finally went elsewhere and got a better job that I am starting my 25th year at. No layoffs and much better pay. They have paid me to go places, do things and work with people I never could have imagined.
I was mad for 3 weeks after the layoff but since I am thankful for what they did. Often these cases can be turned into opportunity that few would take otherwise.
You can do or you can be a victim.
Sorry, I am just stating the facts. I have seen how bad GM management has taken down this once great institution time and time again. I do not feel a GM lifer like Barra who was schooled under failed CEO after failed CEO will produce any different result. Perhaps I am one that cares enough about the company to air my concerns and facts- the sentiments that many share- as opposed to being drawn in by PR talk and charm.
If you had been making comment here that were indicative of you having a grasp of how things really work I would believe you. But Tigger you are so full of Pooh that you can not be taken seriously.
GM had been run horribly for decades. Their inaction killed them. Today they are proactive in their moves and now you think it is bad. So we just let Lordstown continue running and loosing money?
Also do you know all that is in play here? You understand that the plant has nothing that can be there in less than3 years at best.
Do you understand GM can work with the union on a future model but it needs to be negotiated so till it is available they can not show their cards?
You have to think about all that is in play not just the few areas you want to look at.
You’re missing my point. GM IS NOT proactive. This trend toward CUVs and SUVs has been in movement for over THREE YEARS. Just now is Barra and her cronies starting to see it and react. Had they reacted three years ago like Ford and FCA did, perhaps Lordstown and these other plants would have had new product.
As the kids get dropped off at school in their parents KIA Fortes and Honda Civics that helped put an end to the Cruze.
“Or maybe GM should have built a better compact sedan, rather than the world’s most boring one… then people would have bought it.”
Couldn’t have said it better, thanks Alex and maybe GM should be listening to you. Two models come to mind, Accord & Camry….
GM is supposed to be the market leader in the US. That being the case, they should have a viable entry in most every automotive segment there is. Perhaps Ford and FCA with their more limited resources can be excused- but not GM. If anything, GM should have kept the cars, consolidated them in fewer plants, and assigned SUV/CUV/Truck production to the plants loosing the sedans.
When GM leads (just like they did with the BOLT EV) it does not matter to the consumers. The Bolt has not sold well. Bolt is the the only affordable EV with over 200 mile range. The Imaginary Tesla 3 for $35,000 doesn’t count……as it is pretend.
GM could have the “best” vehicle in each segment and it would not necessarily result in them dominating in sales.
That’s not at all the case.
When GM makes a class-leading product, consumers do take notice. The product receives very favorable reviews and becomes part of the thinking and conversation surrounding a certain subset of cars. This is called consideration. GM’s entire portfolio is currently at one of the lowest in its history when it comes to consideration, meaning less and less people are considering their vehicles in the U.S., particularly due to lack of unique selling propositions and higher prices than is offered by very competent rivals. This is highly problematic and troubling, as consideration scores are indicators of sales performance in the medium and long term.
Interestingly, it doesn’t really cost much more (if anything) to have a class-leading product. It’s all a matter of attention and value for the craft… something GM seems to be slowly losing.
And now for the Bolt: it is a good car that is ahead of the game. But it is an example of leadership in the wrong space and with mediocre execution. Allow me to explain.
Wrong space means that it’s in a segment that is extremely limited. Sure, it’s a segment projected to grow over the next few years… but at the current rate, it’s a product that very few people desire. Not only that, but the infrastructure is simply not ready for EVs to be mass-market products. So despite the leadership, the Bolt is the right product at the wrong time.
Mediocre execution means that the Bolt EV should have been executed better. Is it a good car? Yes, it sure is. But it leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to style. Had it beed a stylish four-door sedan or notchback with a design that excited, it would garner a lot more attention, though it still would have sold in very limited numbers due to real world demand issues.
Maybe they should all send a copy to Shanghai and Beijing as well?
Love it. Mary is teaching these urchins a valuable lesson about life and the fact that it doesn’t always go perfectly. Santa doesn’t exist and there are no Christmas miracles.