GM's CEO Won't Commit to Keeping Lordstown Open

GM, Lordstown Seating Issue WARN Notices

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – General Motors LLC and Lordstown Seating Systems have officially notified the state of Ohio that they plan to lay off nearly 1,600 workers at their plants here.

GM announced last week that it will cease second shift operations at the Lordstown Complex effective June 18.

In compliance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, Albert Cooper, personnel director at the Lordstown Complex, formally notified Gov. John Kasich in a letter dated April 13 of its plans to cease second-shift production, which “will ultimately result in the permanent layoff” of 1,289 production employees and 151 skilled trades employees.

Lordstown Seating Systems,  a division of Magna Seating and one of the plant’s suppliers, also notified the state that it would end its second shift effective June 18, affecting an estimated 83 hourly union positions, as well as potentially “a few” salaried positions, according to Jennifer Darnell, human resource manager.

Affected employees are expected to be laid off as of June 15, but could be laid off as late as June 29.

“These layoffs are expected to be permanent based on the information of which we are currently aware,” Darnell said in the letter.

Lordstown Seating issued the notice to the extent that it is required to do so under the act, but “does not concede” that the act applies to the company or that notices are otherwise required, the letter stipulated.

GM expects approximately 1,189 Lordstown production workers and 151 in the skilled trades will be furloughed starting June 18 and continuing through July 1. The remaining 100 production employees will be affected through Sept. 10, according to the letter.

Another 60 salaried GM employees are expected to transfer to other plants. Although none are expected to lose their employment because of the end of second-shift operations, should any of the salaried employees decline to transfer, they will be separated between June 18 and July 1.

“Seniority transfer and placement rights are available under the existing collective bargaining agreement for affected GM employees to go to other plants if it is possible that placement opportunities in other local GM plants will be available for most, if not all, of the affected GM employees,” Cooper said in the letter.

Should future business circumstances change, GM will provide additional notice as appropriate, he added.

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