GM Pulls Trigger on Mass Layoffs Throughout the Country

General Motors announced Monday that the long-dreaded nationwide mass layoffs finally began.

In November of last year, GM announced that they intended to significantly scale back their workforce. Most jarring for many was their plan to close five manufacturing plants across the country, including the Lordstown Assembly complex in Warren, Ohio. Since then, there have been tireless negotiations aimed at getting GM to reverse this decision. President Donald Trump personally decried the decision, demanding that GM find a way to keep these plants open.

When it became clear that there was no reversal in sight, legislators began seeking alternative companies to fill the void GM would leave. At one point, then-Ohio Governor John Kasich began tweeting directly to billionaire and Tesla Motors owner, Elon Musk, asking him to take over the plant. Despite Musk expressing an initial openness to the idea, nothing public has yet has come of the discussion.

While GM claims the workforce cuts are across-the-board, it appears that’s not entirely accurate. The company’s operations in China, Mexico, and other overseas locations will not be reduced. In some cases, the numbers of workers will expand. Legislators, labor leaders, and everyday citizens have blasted the decision as yet another company outsourcing its manufacturing jobs to other nations. A recent study found that the impacts of outsourcing can have lasting negative effect for generations.

Of the 4,200 GM employees laid off, most were white collar positions and none were in Ohio. The four states most heavily affected are Texas, Georgia, Arizona and Michigan. GM is emphasizing that all these workers are being provided severance packages and extensive support in securing new positions. The company is even touting it’s successful “employee transfer” program which will move workers from closing plants to other facilities. Tragically, this does nothing to help the community at large, which will feel the brunt of the loss of these plants.

As labor leaders and legislators continue to negotiate with GM executives over the future of the Lordstown Assembly Complex, its future remains unclear. Several local union leaders in Ohio have written open letters imploring President Trump to find a way to save the plant stating, “If you sell it here, you need to build it here. This is how we can keep America working.”

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Andrew Shirley is a reporter at Battleground State News and The Ohio Star. Send tips to aashirley1809@gmail.com.
Photo “GM Auto Plant” by General Motors.

 

 

 

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