President Trump putting pressure on GM to reopen OH plant

Jeannie Matthews
March 19, 2019

He also said he spoke to GM CEO Mary Barra on Sunday and asked her to either sell the plant or "do something quickly".

About 4,500 workers at the Lordstown plant lost their jobs over the last two years as sales of the Cruze model declined sharply, along with another 900 at nearby auto parts suppliers. "I want jobs to stay in the United States of America and want Lordstown (Ohio), in one of the best economies in our history, opened or sold to a company who will open it up fast!" More than 3,300 hourly workers were laid off indefinitely, representing about 7 percent of GM's hourly US employees.

Trump also tweeted on Saturday to urge GM to reopen the plant, saying: "Toyota is investing 13.5 $Billion in US, others likewise. G.M".

After General Motors announced last November that it would "unallocate" and idle four USA manufacturing plants, it put the company squarely in President Trump's crosshairs.

The latest series of tweets recall Trump's early political success when, as a candidate, he pressured furnace maker Carrier to keep jobs in the U.S. They also come as the administration is trying to mobilize Congress to ratify the President's replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement. The plant's closure was announced in November as part of GM's plan to lay off 15 percent of its workforce, and Lordstown was ultimately shuttered on March 6.

UAW is the United Automobile Workers union, which represents GM workers. The plant had been used to produce the slow-selling Chevrolet Cruze compact auto.

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Earlier on Sunday, Trump tweeted that "Democrat UAW Local 1112 President David Green ought to get his act together and produce".

"Get that big, attractive plant in OH open now", Trump said on Twitter early Monday, after sending a series of missives at GM and the UAW over the weekend.

"We remain open to talking with all affected stakeholders, but our main focus remains on our employees and offering them jobs in our plants where we have growth opportunities", it said.

Even as Mr. Trump said he talked to Barra, he was calling on GM to reopen its Lordstown plant or find another owner, while insisting that the Detroit automaker "must act quickly". It's unclear if the Trump administration responded to Green's request.

GM reported near-record pretax profits of $11.8 billion for 2018, according to Fox News.

Toyota, Japan's largest automaker, has tried to work its way into Trump's good graces after being a target of his tweets when he was president-elect in January 2017.

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