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GM layoffs, plant closings prompt outrage from pols

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rob portman
GOP Sen. Rob Portman of
Ohio

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  • General Motors announced that it would stop producing cars at
    three North American plants and slash its workforce.
  • One of the plants being shuttered is in Lordstown, Ohio.
  • Ohio politicians blasted the move.
  • “For decades, workers in the Mahoning Valley have made a
    commitment to GM, and today GM let Northeast Ohio down,” GOP Sen.
    Rob Portman said in a statement.
  • Ohio Democrats also blasted GM for not using savings from the
    GOP tax law to keep jobs in the US.

General
Motors’ announcement
 Monday that it would stop producing
cars at three North American factories and lay off a significant
portion of its workforce was met with immediate condemnation from
lawmakers of all political stripes.

The automaker announced that factories in Lordstown, Ohio;
Detroit, Michigan; and Ontario, Canada would stop producing
vehicles by the end of 2019. In addition, GM will also lay off
15% of its salaried employees. 
The company said
changing consumer demand and industry changes made the moves
necessary.

GOP Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio blasted the decision and argued the
company was turning its back on American workers.

“I am deeply frustrated with General Motors’ decision to shut
down its Lordstown plant and disappointed with how the
hardworking employees there have been treated throughout this
process,” Portman said.

The Lordstown plant only produces a single model, the Chevy
Cruze, and GM had already cut jobs and shifts at the plant. GM
did not reveal exactly what will happen to employees at the
plants since the company must still negotiate with the employees’
respective unions. Portman pushed the company to shift other
production activities to the plant to support the workers in the
area.

“For decades, workers in the Mahoning Valley have made a
commitment to GM, and today GM let Northeast Ohio down,” Portman
concluded.

On the other end of political spectrum, Ohio Democrats including
Sen. Sherrod Brown and uS Rep. Tim Ryan also blasted GM’s move.

The workers at Lordstown are the best at what they do, and
it’s clear once again that GM doesn’t respect them,” Brown
tweeted. “Ohio taxpayers rescued GM, and it’s shameful that the
company is now abandoning the Mahoning Valley and laying off
workers right before the holidays.

Brown highlighted the fact that GM received a large tax cut from
the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was passed in December
2017. The automaker
saved just shy of $340 million
from the tax law just the
first quarter of 2018.

GM gained record tax breaks from the
GOP‘s tax scam — and chose not to invest that
money in American workers,” Brown said. “As a result of that
corporate greed, thousands of workers will soon be out of a job.
Disgraceful.”

Ryan, who represents the district where the Lordstown plant is
located, attacked GM and Republicans for turning their “back on
us when we need them the most.”

“This is a bad combination of greedy corporations and
policymakers with no understanding of economic development,” Ryan
said.

In particular, Ryan pointed the finger at President Donald Trump,
who promised in a visit to the area in 2017 that the jobs were
“all coming back” to Ohio.

“So far, President Trump has been asleep at the switch and owes
this community an explanation,” Ryan said. “We tried to get his
attention on this issue two years ago. He promised us that his
massive corporate tax cut would lead to dramatic reinvestments in
our communities. That’s clearly not happening.”

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