GM CEO links fate of Lordstown plant to union talks, lawmakers say


Barra listened to their arguments, the senators said, and agreed to talk to the United Auto Workers union about speeding up upcoming contract negotiations to arrive at more certainty about the fate of the Lordstown plant and the workers employed there.

"I think we've had really really productive discussions, and I think they have a better understanding of what we are doing and why, and how we are making sure that we are supporting the displaced workers, especially in the plants that are impacted", Barra said after the meeting.

"She has said to us that she is going to keep an open mind but does not want to raise expectations", Portman said.

"I share their concerns about the impact the actions we announced last week will have on our employees, their families, and the communities", Mary Barra said in a statement.

"A strong GM is the best way for me to maintain the 90,000-plus jobs we have across the USA, in addition to all the people who have retired from GM and their pensions", she said.

A week after announcing huge job cuts and factory closures that enraged U.S. President Donald Trump, GM's CEO met members of Congress from OH and Maryland on December 5.

GM said last week it would close five North American assembly plants next year and cut up to 15,000 jobs as it blames slow selling auto sales for the need to restructure.

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Sen. Portman said Barra made no promises about the future of the Lordstown plant in OH, where the soon-to-be-discontinued Chevrolet Cruze sedans are manufactured.

Barra said the decision to build the Blazer in Mexico, which was announced in June, "was made many years ago". Portman said, adding the members are asking for a new product for the plant to build.

"We hope she heard us", Democratic Rep. Sander Levin, representing Michigan's 9th congressional district, told reporters.

Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., are urging the GM CEO to reconsider the company's plans to cut 15 percent of its salaried workforce in North America.

"We did get answers as to some of the decisions that they made".

Former Chrysler Chairman Bob Nardelli and Loci CEO John Wise discuss GM's decision to close some of its factories and lay off workers.

Administration officials later said they wanted to end subsidies for electric cars in 2020 or 2021, affecting GM and other automakers.