Politics

Ryan, Brown Criticize GM Decision to Build New Model in Mexico

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The same day the second shift at General Motors’ Lordstown Complex ended, the company announced that it will build the new Chevrolet Blazer in Mexico, drawing criticism from U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan and Sen. Sherrod Brown.

“All this comes on the heels of the windfall GM got from the tax bill Congress passed last year,” said Brown, D-Ohio, on the Senate floor yesterday. “GM can now bring nearly $7 billion in overseas cash back to the U.S. at a dramatically lower tax rate, and they can immediately deduct the cost of any new investments in plants and equipment. They could be using that extra cash to invest in Lordstown and build more cars in America. But what are they doing? They’re laying off 1,500 Ohio workers.”

Ryan, D-13 Ohio, penned an open letter to GM CEO Mary Barra, calling the decision to build the SUV in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico “outrageous.” The plant there also produces the Cruze for international markets and the Chevy Equinox.

“The men and women of our community walked out of the plant for the last time with anxiety and concern for the future, and woke up to learn that GM is creating jobs in Mexico,” Ryan said in the letter. “While there is plenty of investment in the 15,000 production workers in Mexico – and their subpar wages of less than $3 per hour – more can and should be done by GM to position the Lordstown plant for the next 20 years.”

General Motors announced the elimination of the second shift at the Lordstown Complex April 13 following months of slumping sales for the Chevrolet Cruze. In WARN notices issued the following week, GM said it planned to lay off nearly 1,600 workers. Nearly 600 workers accepted buyouts or retired early.

Copyright 2019 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.