LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – In a letter sent Friday, Valley Congressman Tim Ryan urged President Trump to help bring back the third shift at General Motors’ Lordstown plant.
Over 1,200 employees were laid off after GM announced the end of the plant’s third shift in January.
The company also decided to shut down the plant for three weeks starting March 13 for “production downtime.”
Congressman Ryan wants Trump to meet with GM administrators and officials to work out an agreement to bring back the third shift.
Dear Mr. President
During your campaign you said that you would support blue collar families, and spur American manufacturing. On inauguration day, while you spoke about America’s shuttered factories and the millions of workers struggling to find jobs, GM began the indefinite suspension of the third shift at their Ohio Lordstown Assembly Complex. The suspension has permanently terminated 1,250 employees, making the financial future uncertain for families throughout my district. In addition to eliminating more than a quarter of their workforce at Lordstown, General Motors has decided to initiate a three week production shutdown in March. This is despite the company’s pledge to invest more than 1 billion in domestic factories, and create 7,000 new jobs. In response, I call on you to work with General Motors and reinstate these workers and provide financial security and stability to these men and women.
General Motors’ sudden and drastic employment reduction has not only harmed the economic security of workers at the Lordstown Assembly Complex. The massive layoffs are sending ripples through the broader automotive supply chain, adversely affecting auxiliary industries which provide automotive components, logistics, and other specialized support.
Magna-Lordstown Seating Systems, which makes seats for the Chevrolet Cruze, simultaneously ended its third shift at the end of January. More than 100 workers lost their employment. Jamestown Industries specialize in steel manufacture, and had to terminate 15 employees due to the sudden lack of demand. Youngstown’s Comprehensive Logistics ships automotive parts for the Lordstown General Motors Assembly Complex, and stated that they have had to lay off a “significant proportion” of its employees since the sweeping layoffs.
These job losses will further add to the economic pressures currently facing blue collar Americans and their families. Large manufacturing companies with a high number of employees are often the economic backbone for many Midwestern towns and cities. Massive singular employment terminations can economically depress an area overnight. As struggling families tighten their belts, regional spending declines. Consequently, complementary industries restaurants, grocery stores, and stores close their doors. Without the introduction of new industry, areas like Northeast Ohio will have difficulty rebuilding an economic foundation.
President Trump, this is a great opportunity to fulfill your promises by working with General Motors to reinstate the Lordstown Assembly Complex’s third shift, and prevent its three week closure in march.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter. I look forward to hearing from you about how we can get these men and women back to work.
Member of Congress