Valley lawmakers send letter to GM CEO about Lordstown layoffs


YOUNGSTOWN

Mahoning Valley elected officials have sent a letter to General Motors Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra urging the company to reinvest in its Lordstown assembly plant.

“As Mahoning Valley lawmakers who fight for jobs and industries that strengthen our economy and our workers, we are extremely concerned with your recent announcement to lay off workers at the Lordstown, Ohio GM plant, as well as workers in your supply chain across the state,” reads the letter, which was signed by state Sens. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, D-33rd and Sean O’Brien of Bazetta, D-32nd, and Democratic state Reps. John Boccieri of Poland, 59th, Michele Lepore-Hagan of Youngstown, 58th, Glenn Holmes of McDonald, 63rd, and Michael O’Brien of Warren, 64th.

The Lordstown plant recently eliminated its second shift, laying off about 1,500 Mahoning Valley workers at the plant and at companies in the plant’s supply chain. On the same day the layoffs went into effect, GM also drew the ire of United Auto Workers and Mahoning Valley politicians by announcing it would build its new Chevrolet Blazer in Mexico.

The letter to Barra notes the community pride in the Chevrolet Cruze, the compact car built at the Lordstown plant.

“In addition to the immense pride of the workers and of our communities, the Valley continues to be an asset to GM for logistical reasons, as we have an ample supply of water and natural gas and are centrally located between New York and Chicago with reliable transport infrastructure,” the letter states.

It goes on to say that the Valley “wants to continue to support GM” and that there is “a will to double down and train the current workforce for the jobs of tomorrow.”

“We have people in our districts who want to go back to work and continue making a living for their families with pride and dignity,” the lawmakers wrote. “We hope GM will continue to invest in the Mahoning Valley, just as our state and our communities have invested in your company. We urge you to reconsider your decision to reduce opportunities in Lordstown and throughout Ohio and instead utilize the current Lordstown location and collaborate with our creative and committed Valley workers to create a vision for the GM of tomorrow.”

Other elected officials, including U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Cleveland Democrat, also have written to Barra about the layoffs.

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