Trump has harsh remarks for GM over layoffs

28 November, 2018, 02:47 | Author: Dave Hampton
  • Trump Slams Ungrateful GM Threatens to Cut Off Subsidies After Plant Closures

Trump told The Wall Street Journal that he spoke with GM CEO Mary Barra on Monday and told her that GM "better damn well open a new plant there pretty quickly".

With U.S. auto sales lagging, several vehicle plants have fallen to just one shift, including its Hamtramck and Lordstown, assembly plant. It will also stop building several models now assembled at those plants, including the Chevrolet Cruze, the Chevrolet Volt hybrid, the Cadillac CT6 and the Buick LaCrosse. "We are now looking at cutting all @GM subsidies, including. for electric cars", Trump wrote in a series of Twitter posts.

The reductions could amount to as much as 8 percent of GM's global workforce of 180,000 employees.

General Motors will cut more than 14,000 salaried staff and factory workers and close seven factories worldwide by the end of next year, part of a sweeping realignment to prepare for a future of electric and self-driving vehicles.

"Let me tell you folks in OH and in this area, don't sell your house", Trump said at the time, to wild applause "We're going to get those jobs coming back, and we're going to fill up those factories or rip them down and build brand-new ones". It was about 50 percent cars just five years ago.

Trump said he expected General Motors to start manufacturing another type of vehicle in OH and that it "had better" do so.

Baier said it is uncommon to see a president go after a single company, but he believes this tough talk will play with many Americans, particularly in the Heartland.

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William Binning, a former Republican Party chairman in Mahoning County and an emeritus political science professor at Youngstown State University, said Trump's re-election bid in OH would take a hit if the Lordstown plant closes and nothing replaces it.

The US automaker explained its decision as a response to a slowdown in new-car sales, as well as to consumers shifting toward pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles.

GM said it would end production at five North American plants, including Lordstown, Ohio, and cut 15 percent of its salaried workforce.

The big restructuring announcement came Monday morning. In July 2017, speaking at a rally about 20 miles away in Youngstown (Ohio), Trump said he saw too many empty factories in the area and pledged to revive manufacturing there.

At the factories, 3,000 workers could lose jobs in Canada and another 3,600 in the US.

She said GM is still hiring people with expertise in software and electric and autonomous vehicles.

"You can't blame Trump, you can't blame anybody in elected office because we have the wrong product at the wrong time, " Hill said.

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"The layoffs are the inevitable outcome of an economic model that views workers as disposable and shareholder excitement as indispensable", said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, a nonprofit that advocates for worker protections in the industry. A GM spokesperson was not available to comment, nor was UAW President David Green, who spearheaded a recent campaign called "Drive It Home" to try to keep production going at Lordstown.

"He's looking into what those options might look like", she said.

This time around, wrenching change in buyer behaviour could cost GM auto plants in Michigan, Ohio and Ontario their future.

At the factories, around 3,300 blue-collar workers could lose jobs in the US and another 2,600 in Canada, but some USA workers could transfer to truck or SUV factories that are increasing production.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said it was a "difficult day" for the Oshawa plant workers, Ontario auto part suppliers and their families.

Since it was introduced, battery technology has improved dramatically.

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