Ohio lawmakers put pressure on General Motors CEO

Ohio lawmakers put pressure on General Motors CEO

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -Hope isn’t lost yet for the more than 1,500 workers set to lose their job at the Lordstown General Motors plant.

On Wednesday, Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown took the battle the nation’s capital, where they met with GM’s CEO, Mary Barra.

Portman and Brown are pressuring Barra to use the Lordstown plant for new products they plan to launch. The lawmakers acknowledged that the Chevy Cruze being manufactured in Lordstown hasn't been easy to market.

They feel the logical solution is to let these 1,500 plus workers keep their jobs and use their skill set to work on one of the 20 new electric vehicles GM plans to roll out in the next five years.

Barra said the company would help workers find jobs at other plants across the country, but Portman and Brown want to work with GM and the federal government to keep their jobs in Lordstown.

“You get an immediate write off for investment if you invest in plants like Lordstown, so the tax bill is exactly the kind of thing GM should be using to re-invest in Lordstown for a new product,” said Portman.

“I spoke with the president last week on fixing some of the tax issues that I think could make it more likely they stay here, but we need the cooperation of the federal government to do it right,” said Brown.

Barra added, “We will be forever grateful for the assistance the U.S. government provided GM and we're trying to make sure we're good corporate citizens and continue to provide jobs.”

Barra was vague when asked if Lordstown was a done deal. She simply said the plant is unallocated and the company is working with the union on contract issues.

Brown and Portman say they’re pushing for answers.

Lordstown has lost more than 3,000 jobs since last year. A local non-profit, Manufacturing Works, has pointed out the rippling effect should Lordstown close.

Nearly 4,400 Ohio families would be impacted and 43,000 jobs would be lost across the industrial Midwest.

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