Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Union clings to GM plant in area where Trump promised jobs

GM to slash 14,700 jobs in North America GM job cuts draw angry reaction in heartland that backed Trump
Jodi Jackson | 27 November, 2018, 07:15

GM offered buyouts to about 18,000 white-collar workers in the US and Canada October 2018. The company said it is aiming to save $6.5 billion in "cost efficiencies" through 2018.

General Motors Co.'s pre-emptive strike to get leaner before the next downturn likely will be followed by Ford Motor Co., which has said it is restructuring and will lay off an unspecified number of white-collar workers. The automaker in June ended the second shift at its factory in Lordstown, Ohio, cutting 1,500 workers.

GM is also moving to cut capital spending overall, even as it says it will double the resources dedicated to electric and self-driving vehicles over the next two years.

The company says the closures will "significantly increase capacity utilization".

GM needs to reshape the company as it shifts its focus to lower-emitting hybrid vehicles, technology that is not at the forefront at the Canadian plant.

General Motors Co plans to announce as early as Monday it will significantly cut auto production in North America and stop building some low-selling vehicle models, a source briefed on the matter said. But the political atmosphere might limit realistic choices for the Detroit automaker. "For decades, workers in the Mahoning Valley have made a commitment to GM, and today GM let Northeast Ohio down". "I don't want to give up hope for this facility and these people". The once-bustling factory already has lost two of its three shifts and 3,000 union jobs since the beginning of past year.

The plan may signal the demise in the USA of several passenger cars that have been struggling, including the Chevrolet Cruze, the Chevrolet Impala and the Cadillac XTS.

The company has sold about 22,000 through September and in August sought an exclusion from 25 per cent United States tariffs imposed on Chinese vehicle imports. That figure was about 50 percent cars just five years ago.

Trump won OH in 2016 campaigning on bringing manufacturing jobs back to America.

GM is not the first to abandon much of its auto market. The Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly produces the Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CT6, Chevrolet Impala, and Chevrolet Volt.

There may be a slight hitch in GM's plans, though.

Ford said he asked GM in a phone call on Sunday whether there was anything the province could do to keep the plant open, and was told it could not.

"If import tariffs on automobiles are not tailored to specifically advance the objectives of the economic and national security goals of the United States, increased import tariffs could lead to a smaller GM, a reduced presence at home and overseas for this iconic American company, and riskless not more U.S.jobs", GM said.

Plants in Baltimore, Maryland, and Warren, Michigan, assembling powertrain components will have no products assigned to them after 2019 and are at risk of closure, GM said.

"You know, the United States saved General Motors and for (CEO Mary Barra) to take that company out of OH is not good", he said.

"I have seen the same reports as many in my riding, which claim GM may be closing their operations in Oshawa, and I find these reports gravely concerning", Oshawa NDP MPP Jennifer French told Global News, which said it could confirm the CTV report. Canada and Ontario also backed a 2005 investment by GM to modernize the Oshawa plant's paint shop.

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