GM Plans to Sell Ohio Plant to Electric Automaker After Pressure from Trump

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JOHN BINDER

General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra is planning to sell the Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant to an electric automaker after laying off about 1,600 American workers this year at the factory.

On Wednesday, President Trump said he had been working with Barra to get GM to sell the Lordstown plant to another company in order to prevent economic and social destruction in the area and for the community.

Following Trump’s posts, GM issued a release, writing that the selling of the plant to Workhorse Group Inc. would “bring significant production and electric vehicle assembly jobs to the plant.”

Should GM, Workhorse executives, and the United Auto Workers (UAW) hammer out a deal to reopen the Lordstown plant, Workhorse would hold a minority interest in the project.

“The first vehicle we would plan to build if we were to purchase the Lordstown Complex would be a commercial electric pickup, blending Workhorse’s technology with Lordstown’s manufacturing expertise,” Workhorse founder Steve Burns said.

Barra, a close ally of the Obama administration and Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden, closed the Lordstown, Ohio plant last month, a decision expected to result in the layoff of more than 8,000 American workers in the area, and has continued to allegedly blame the United Auto Workers (UAW) for the plant’s closure.

Negotiations between GM and the UAW detail how union workers were willing to accept nearly $120 million a year in concessions to keep the Lordstown plant open. Barra, though, moved forward with the plan to close the facility.

Closing the Lordstown plant resulted in the immediate layoff of about 1,600 American workers and since 2017, GM has laid off about 4,500 American workers in Ohio. Another 900 American workers in supporting industries have been put of out work as well.

While laying off U.S. workers in Lordstown, Barra has promised a $700 million investment by GM in three other areas in Ohio, including Toledo, Parma, and Moraine. This investment, Barra said, is likely to create 450 jobs in the state, less than a third of the number of Americans who were employed at the Lordstown plant.

Only two months ago, Trump publicly slammed Barra and GM executives for closing the Lordstown plant, siding with the UAW and laid off American workers. At the time, Trump demanded that Barra sell the Lordstown plant to keep jobs in the small Ohio community.

American workers in Lordstown have been devastated by GM’s closure of the assembly plant. In interviews with the New York Times, laid off workers explained the hardships ahead for their job security, their families, and the community they love.

“My whole life has been General Motors. I have 28 years invested in the company that is doing this to me … But it’s hard when you see money going to other places, when you see CEOs making the money they’re making,” laid off GM worker Jonathan Achey said. “Do I feel like I got slapped in the face? Absolutely. It definitely feels like a smack in the face.”

Despite the mass layoffs in North America — where about 14,700 workers in the U.S. and Canada are expected to be eventually laid off — Barra continued to earn nearly $22 million, cutting her pay by only $87,598 according to GM’s filings. This means that while thousands in the U.S. are laid off, Barra took only a 0.4 percent pay cut.

Experts have called on Trump to implement a 25 percent auto tariff to protect American auto worker jobs and the U.S. auto industry from Chinese domination. Likewise, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), vying for the Democrat nomination for president, has told Trump to immediately ban GM from receiving federal contracts for their outsourcing, offshoring, and mass layoff scheme.

GM is looking to manufacture an electric Cadillac in China and continue manufacturing its Envision compact vehicle in China. The made-in-Mexico Chevrolet Blazer will soon arrive in U.S. markets. Last year, GM became the largest automaker in Mexico, as it has cut jobs in America and increased production in Mexico.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder

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