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

Ryan Suggests ShareWork for GM Lordstown Layoffs

LORDSTOWN, Ohio — In a letter sent to General Motors Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13, asked the company to consider ShareWork Ohio to retain about 1,300 GM Lordstown employees affected by the recently announced layoff of the second shift.

The layoff aversion program offered by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) allows workers to retain employees until demand returns to the industry market. According to the ODJFS website, “The participating employer reduces affected employees’ hours in a uniform manner. The participating employee works the reduced hours each week, and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) provides eligible individuals an unemployment insurance benefit proportionate to their reduced hours.”

In the letter sent to GM’s chairman and CEO, Mary Barra, Ryan said the decision to layoff workers also affects Tier I and Tier II suppliers. One week after GM’s announcement, 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.

While not a “silver bullet,” Ryan said the program would mitigate the domino effect and would create a “softer landing” for the affected workers.

“The workforce at the General Motors Lordstown Complex is world class and I know they take great pride in the product that rolls off the line at Bailey Road,” the congressman wrote. “I am proud to call many of them friends and family, and our community is proud of the hard work they do each and every day. If GM believes the market will rebound, it would be in GM’s best interest to retain a highly trained workforce.”

Read Congressman Ryan’s full letter to GM here.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.