Senators Want Answers from Barra by Dec. 21

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a letter to Mary Barra, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman are pressing the General Motors chairwoman and CEO for answers about the future of the GM Lordstown assembly plant and the potential impacts to jobs and the supply chain.

Brown, a Democrat, and Portman, a Republican, met with Barra last week, during which they urged her to invest in the Lordstown plant rather than shutter it. The meeting followed the announcement by GM to cease production of the Lordstown-built Chevrolet Cruze and close the plant there by March 1, along with the Detroit-Hamtramck plant and a factory in Oshawa, Ontario. The closure would result in the laying off of 1,500 hourly workers and another 100 salaried employees.

In the letter, the senators argue that Lordstown workers, their families and the impacted communities need to have the information necessary to prepare for any consequences from the announcement.

“As GM continues to evaluate the company’s next steps with respect to the Lordstown plant, it is critical that the workers and communities affected by any company decisions understand the short- and long-term implications of the announcement and its full impacts,” they wrote. “Only with complete information can the Mahoning Valley – as well as the numerous Ohio businesses and communities who stand to lose jobs and investment as part the Lordstown closure – effectively respond to, and recover from, changes to production at Lordstown.”

The senators list specific questions regarding the Lordstown plant and the impact of its closure. These include what factors GM will take into consideration in determining whether to allocate a new vehicle to Lordstown, how much will it cost to shut down the plant, how many plant and supply chain workers will lose their jobs if GM follows through with an announced 8,000 layoffs next year, what the cost would be to retool the plant to produce an electric vehicle, and if GM will commit to producing in the U.S. all the electric vehicles that will be for sale in the U.S.

The asked Barra to respond to the questions “no later than” Dec. 21.

Read Brown and Portman’s letter in its entirety here.

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Senators Want Answers from Barra by Dec. 21

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