YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio—General Motors’ chief executive “would not commit” to keeping its Lordstown assembly plant in northeast Ohio open, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said July 3.
Brown told reporters he’d spoken to CEO Mary Barra in early June, after the company announced it was eliminating the plant’s second shift, but before about 1,200 workers were laid off June 22, and before GM reported July 3 that sales of Chevrolet Cruzes, some of which are made in Lordstown, had fallen by about 26% this year. “I asked her to commit that Lordstown would stay open, at least the one shift, because the second-shift announcement had already happened,” Brown said. “She would not commit that they will keep that plant open.” He added that he’d asked Barra on why GM couldn’t use money it saved from last year’s corporate tax cuts to “retool” the plant, but “she said it seemed too expensive.” “Our members are frustrated. There’s no carrot at the end of the stick,” United Auto Workers Local 1112 President Dave Green told the Youngtown Vindicator. “Obviously the lack of commitment has created some anxiety, not only among our members, but for people in this community as well.”