Displaced America: GM Ohio Plant Idles, 4.5K U.S. Workers Laid Off Since 2017

Saturday, March 9, 2019
By Paul Martin

by John Binder
8 Mar 2019

Multinational corporation General Motors (GM) has idled its assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio — the largest plant it will shut down this year — leaving about 1,600 American workers out of a job and displaced in the labor market.

Closing Despite Big Profits

This year, GM announced it would stop production at four of its U.S. plants, including Detroit-Hamtramck and Warren Transmission in Michigan, Lordstown Assembly in Ohio, and Baltimore Operations in Maryland. This comes after GM laid off about 1,500 American workers in Lordstown in 2018, while their Mexico production remains unaffected and production in China ramps up.

At the beginning of this year, GM executives began laying off 14,700 workers in the United States and Canada, with the majority of the layoffs concentrated in Michigan, Ohio, Maryland, Georgia, and Texas, including at least 3,300 American factory workers.

These layoffs included the mass layoff of at least 4,000 American workers in white-collar jobs for GM, many of whom were older and had worked at the corporation for more than two decades. Even in supporting industries, about 400 Americans are set to be laid off in the Lordstown, Ohio region.

The closing of the four U.S. plants comes as GM has reported nearly $11 billion in fourth quarter pre-tax profit and more than $38 billion in revenue, beating financial experts’ expectations. Additionally, despite the mass layoffs, GM CEO Mary Barra has continued to rake in nearly $22 million a year.

American Workers Displaced

Since 2017, about 4,500 American workers have lost their jobs at GM in Ohio. Another 900 American workers in supporting industries have, too, been put out of work.

For the 1,600 GM workers at the now shuttered Lordstown plant, job displacement and wage cuts are unfortunate truths weighing on the company’s most loyal and longtime employees.

In interviews with the Washington Post, American workers in Lordstown who worked for GM and industries that supported the plant detailed how their wages have been cut, their livelihoods have been displaced, and why picking up to move for a GM job in another state is out of the question.

The Rest…HERE

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