Congressman Tim Ryan Calls on GM To Consider ShareWork Ohio Program for Lordstown Employees | Congressman Tim Ryan
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Congressman Tim Ryan Calls on GM To Consider ShareWork Ohio Program for Lordstown Employees

April 24, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today urged General Motors to consider ShareWork Ohio, a unique layoff aversion program offered by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) for employees impacted by the recently announced layoff of the second shift at GM Lordstown. In a letter sent to GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, Congressman Ryan highlights ShareWork Ohio’s outside-the-box approach to retaining valued employees until demand can return to the industry market.  As stated on the ODJFS website, “A SharedWork Ohio plan, the participating employer reduces affected employees’ hours in a uniform manner. The participating employee works the reduced hours each week, and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) provides eligible individuals an unemployment insurance benefit proportionate to their reduced hours.”

“The workforce at the General Motors Lordstown Complex is world class and I know they take great pride in the product that rolls off the line at Bailey Road.  I am proud to call many of them friends and family, and our community is proud of the hard work they do each and every day. If GM believes the market will rebound, it would be in GM’s best interest to retain a highly trained workforce,” Congressman Ryan wrote.

Full text of the letter can be found below and here:

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April 24, 2018

Mary T. Barra
Chairman & CEO
General Motors Company
300 Renaissance Center
Detroit, MI 48243

Re: General Motors Lordstown Complex

Dear Ms. Barra,

I write to express my grave concerns regarding the recent announcement to the planned job cuts that would eliminate the second shift and end with approximately 1,300 employees being permanently laid off along with the transfer of 60+ salaried workers to other General Motors (GM) plants.  I’m sure this was a very difficult decision, one that will deeply impact the lives of workers, their families and our communities.  In addition to the workers at the Lordstown complex, the domino effect to Tier I and Tier II suppliers will have far-reaching implications.  However, this could be significantly mitigated with a unique layoff aversion program offered by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) called SharedWork Ohio.

SharedWork Ohio takes an outside-the-box approach to retaining valued employees until demand can return to the industry market.  Although not a silver bullet, it would create a softer landing for everyone impacted by the declining compact car market.  From ODJFS’ website, “SharedWork Ohio is a voluntary layoff aversion program. It allows workers to remain employed and employers to retain trained staff during times of reduced business activity. Under a SharedWork Ohio plan, the participating employer reduces affected employees’ hours in a uniform manner. The participating employee works the reduced hours each week, and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) provides eligible individuals an unemployment insurance benefit proportionate to their reduced hours.”

Programs like SharedWork Ohio help companies weather cyclical storms.  My office has been in touch with the staff at ODJFS regarding the criteria and benefits of the program, which I believe to be meaningful and significant.  I would be happy to help facilitate a discussion between General Motors and ODJFS to carefully study the program benefits so that GM could consider the merits of uniformly reducing affected workers hours in lieu of a mass workforce reduction as you propose. 

The workforce at the General Motors Lordstown Complex is world class and I know they take great pride in the product that rolls off the line at Bailey Road.  I am proud to call many of them friends and family, and our community is proud of the hard work they do each and every day. If GM believes the market will rebound, it would be in GM’s best interest to retain a highly trained workforce.  Furthermore, if GM is considering retooling the facility to produce another model, maintaining trained employees would help the company ramp up production ahead of the competition.

Time is of the essence so I stand ready to assist at your convenience.  I appreciate your attention to this matter and would be interested to receiving your thoughts on this critical issue.  Should you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me or my staff anytime.  I’ll await your response. 

Sincerely,

Tim Ryan