After thousands of Mahoning Valley area schoolchildren penned letters and drew pictures destined for GM CEO Mary Barra, the top executive at the automaker responded.
The Vindicator reported Wednesday that GM CEO Mary Barra wrote a response to the numerous letters and pictures she received from schoolchildren affected by the automaker’s decision to idle (and likely shut down) the Lordstown assembly plant in Ohio.
“Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your pictures with me. I see how much you care about your family, friends and community, and I understand why you are sad and worried. I want you to know I care about them, and about you,” Barra’s letter reads in part.
The letters were part of a campaign that local superintendents and the children themselves came up with. The Drive It Home Ohio grassroots organization commended the move and also thanked Barra for her response. James Dignan, Drive It Home Ohio co-chairman, said the letters had their intended impact.
Terry Armstrong, superintendent of the Lordstown School District, said the district spoke with a GM spokesperson and confirmed Barra received every letter and picture. Someone at GM looked at every single one, the spokesperson said.
Barra explained to the schoolchildren that GM plans to support their families as the plant’s work winds down. She reiterated the commitment to transfer them to other production plants. Yesterday, GM said it will add 1,000 new jobs at its Flint, Michigan, assembly plant for 2020 Silverado HD production. Laid-off workers at idled plants will receive priority for the positions.
“We’re also partnering with the United Way in your neighborhoods to help families who decide not to relocate to another GM plant,” Barra added.
The Lordstown plant will go idle this March, but GM will need to negotiate its closure with the UAW. The current labor contract with the union expires this September.