More than 300 jobs for GM Lordstown workers to apply for


EDITOR'S NOTE — This story has been updated to correct that there are more than 300 openings at other GM plants.

By Jordyn Grzelewski

jgrzelewski@vindy.com

LORDSTOWN

U.S. President Donald Trump asserted in a Fox News interview Thursday that General Motors’ planned shutdown of its plant in Lordstown “doesn’t really matter” because “Ohio’s going to replace those jobs like in two minutes.”

There are more than 300 openings at other GM plants that Lordstown workers will have the chance to apply for.

According to a flier sent to United Auto Workers Local 1112 members Thursday and signed by shop Chairman Dan Morgan and Local 1112 President David Green, there are 200 openings at a plant in Spring Hill, Tenn.; 35 in Flint, Mich., and 70 in Toledo.

Employees must apply by Dec. 21 and can expect to hear back by Jan. 2, 2019.

The notice states that transfer requests will be sent out Dec. 21 and employees can expect to hear back by Jan. 2, 2019.

GM announced Nov. 26 it plans to idle five of its North America plants, including the Lordstown complex. The automaker will also stop making the Lordstown-built Chevrolet Cruze; the plant is “unallocated” after March 1, meaning there is not another product lined up for the plant to make. Whether that shutdown will be permanent is not yet clear and will likely be determined during negotiations between the corporation and the UAW next year.

Trump has been critical of GM’s decision, and in Thursday’s interview he said GM “is not going to be treated well” following the plant closures, according to media reports. He also criticized the automaker’s push to invest in a line of electric vehicles.

Regarding Ohio – which economists say will feel the ripple effect of the estimated 1,500 layoffs directly tied to the plant – Trump said: “It doesn’t really matter because Ohio is under my leadership from a national standpoint. Ohio’s going to replace those jobs in like two minutes.”

In other Lordstown news Thursday, a group of state Democratic lawmakers announced a planned Ohio House bill aimed at helping workers and communities affected by “large-scale closures and mass layoffs,” according to a news release.

The bill’s sponsors are Democratic state Reps. Glenn Holmes of McDonald, 63rd; Mike O’Brien of Warren, 64th; Dan Ramos of Lorain, 56th; and Adam Miller of Columbus, 17th District.

“I’m happy to support efforts to assist and care for the workers, families and local communities impacted by the GM Lordstown’s closure,” said Holmes, “This bill is critical to empower the state to better assist communities facing sudden unemployment of this magnitude.”

The legislation would expedite unemployment benefits, provide additional resources to process claims and offer additional qualifying benefits to communities faced with unemployment from mass layoffs and plant closures. In addition, some workers under the plan would see extended benefits if they face structural unemployment challenges, according to the release.

O’Brien said it also would double the period during which laid-off workers can collect unemployment, adding 26 more weeks.

The bill would define a mass layoff as any job loss greater than 200 employees over a seven-day period.

The announcement of this legislation comes as the legislative term is about to end. State lawmakers will meet next Tuesday or Wednesday if needed; then the session ends for the year.

If legislation is not passed by the end of the term, lawmakers would have to start over in January.

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