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

Ryan Says Call with Barra Gives Him Confidence

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, says he “spoke directly” with the CEO of General Motors Co., Mary Barra, during a phone conversation Thursday evening, and “came away from the conversation confident GM Lordstown will continue to play an important role in the company’s long-term success.”

In a statement released late Friday, Ryan said he discussed the loss of the second shift at the General Motors Lordstown complex, “potential ways to mitigate the impact on our community and the long-term future of GM Lordstown.”

According to the congressman, “Barra reiterated that GM has invested more than half a billion dollars into Lordstown over the past 10 years, and I expressed my desire to work cooperatively with GM to ensure future investments are made. At the end of the conversation, I encourage CEO Barra to visit GM Lordstown and see first-hand the world-class work being done in our community.”

Ryan’s conversation with Barra followed a letter he wrote April 24 to the CEO that urged the automater to consider Ohio’s ShareWork program for the 1,500 employees who stand to lose their jobs.

The layoff aversion program is offered by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services. Under the plan, the employer reduces workers hours in a uniform matter. The employee works the reduced hours each week, and ODJFS provides eligible individuals unemployment benefits proportionate to their reduced hours.

In his statement after speaking to Barra, Ryan did not say whether GM is considering such a program.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.