Government

Ryan to Trump: Work with GM to Reverse Lordstown Layoffs

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio  — U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, today urged President Donald Trump to meet with leaders from General Motors Co. to find an agreement that would reverse the termination of the third shift at the Lordstown Assembly plant.

Ryan released to the press the text of a letter sent today to Trump.

Losing the third shift resulted in the termination of about 800 jobs at the plant, which builds the Chevrolet Cruze. GM has also announced that the Lordstown Assembly will shut down for three weeks this morning to allow excess inventory to be sold.

After the layoffs, local suppliers to the plant announced that they, too, would cut their workforces. Among those making are Magna Lordstown Seating Systems, Jamestown Industries and Comprehensive Logistics.

The following is text of the letter Ryan sent to Trump:

Dear Mr. President,

During your campaign you said that you would support blue collar families, and spur American manufacturing. On inauguration day, while you spoke about America’s shuttered factories and the millions of workers struggling to find jobs, GM began the indefinite suspension of the third shift at their Ohio Lordstown Assembly Complex.

The suspension has permanently terminated 1,250 employees, making the financial future uncertain for families throughout my district. In addition to eliminating more than a quarter of their workforce at Lordstown, General Motors has decided to initiate a three week production shutdown in March. This is despite the company’s pledge to invest more than 1 billion in domestic factories, and create 7,000 new jobs. In response, I call on you to work with General Motors and reinstate these workers and provide financial security and stability to these men and women.

General Motors’ sudden and drastic employment reduction has not only harmed the economic security of workers at the Lordstown Assembly Complex. The massive layoffs are sending ripples through the broader automotive supply chain, adversely affecting auxiliary industries which provide automotive components, logistics, and other specialized support.

Magna-Lordstown Seating Systems, which makes seats for the Chevrolet Cruze, simultaneously ended its third shift at the end of January. More than 100 workers lost their employment. Jamestown Industries specialize in steel manufacture, and had to terminate 15 employees due to the sudden lack of demand. Youngstown’s Comprehensive Logistics ships automotive parts for the Lordstown General Motors Assembly Complex, and stated that they have had to lay off a “significant proportion” of its employees since the sweeping layoffs.

These job losses will further add to the economic pressures currently facing blue collar Americans and their families. Large manufacturing companies with a high number of employees are often the economic backbone for many Midwestern towns and cities. Massive singular employment terminations can economically depress an area overnight. As struggling families tighten their belts, regional spending declines. Consequently, complementary industries restaurants, grocery stores, and stores close their doors. Without the introduction of new industry, areas like Northeast Ohio will have difficulty rebuilding an economic foundation.

President Trump, this is a great opportunity to fulfill your promises by working with General Motors to reinstate the Lordstown Assembly Complex’s third shift, and prevent its three week closure in March.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. I look forward to hearing from you about how can get these men and women back to work.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.