Congressman Tim Ryan Statement on the Closure of GM Lordstown
Lordstown, Ohio – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) made the following statement in response to the indefinite shutdown of GM Lordstown in March of 2019, laying off approximately 1,618 employees. This announcement comes after GM eliminated approximately 3,000 jobs at the plant over the last two years.
“Today our generation is facing a new Black Monday in the Mahoning Valley. GM’s announcement is devastating for the men and women working at Lordstown and everyone here in the Mahoning Valley. For decades, workers have devoted their lives, working day and night, to produce some of the finest cars in the country for General Motors. We fought together to keep GM afloat and the American taxpayers bailed them out when they were on the verge of bankruptcy. Thousands of families have sacrificed to build GM into what it is today. And in return, GM has turned its back on us when we need them the most.
“This is a bad combination of greedy corporations and policy makers with no understanding of economic development. I implore President Trump to keep his word when he came to the Mahoning Valley last year and promised jobs were ‘all coming back. They’re all coming back. Don’t move. Don’t sell your house.’ So far, President Trump has been asleep at the switch and owes this community an explanation. We tried to get his attention on this issue two years ago. He promised us that his massive corporate tax cut would lead to dramatic reinvestments in our communities. That clearly is not happening. The Valley has been yearning for the Trump Administration to come here, roll up their sleeves and help us fight for this recovery. What we’ve gotten instead are broken promises and petty tweets. Corporations like General Motors and the President himself are the only ones benefiting from this economy—an economy rigged against workers who are playing by the rules but still not getting ahead.
“My office is standing by to assist all those who are impacted by this closure. Our community has always banded together in difficult times, and this will be no different,” said Congressman Ryan.
April 2, 2018: The Final Determination by President Trump’s EPA on the Appropriateness of the Model Years 2022-2025 Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards under the Midterm Evaluation – incentivizing the sale of larger cars and SUVs. This was not a surprise as Secretary Pruitt has questioned climate scientists, eliminating the Clean Power Plan, and now working to roll back fuel economy standards that are reducing carbon pollution. You can read more here.
April 13, 2018: General Motors announced that it was shutting down its second shift. Read Ryan’s statement here. GM’s announcement that it would lay off the second shift at the Lordstown plant came just over a year after GM laid off the third shift, or 1,200 workers, at the same facility.
April 24, 2018: Ryan called on GM to consider ShareWork Ohio Program, 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.
April 27, 2018: Ryan spoke directly with GM CEO Mary Barra to discuss the loss of GM Lordstown’s 2nd shift, potential ways to mitigate the impact on our community, and the long-term future of GM Lordstown.
May 11, 2018: Ryan sent a letter to President Trump requesting that he reverse his decision to scrap fuel efficiency standards that weaken the market for compact cars like the Chevy Cruze. In a letter sent to GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, Congressman Ryan highlighted ShareWork Ohio’s outside-the-box approach to retaining valued employees until demand can return to the industry market.
September 12, 2018: Ryan and Brown announced $1.7 million in federal relief for GM Lordstown workers impacted by GM’s layoffs. The funds provided employment and training services to approximately 337 of the 1,686 workers affected by layoffs from the General Motors plant in Lordstown, as well as from three additional auto industry suppliers in northeastern Ohio.
August 2, 2018: Ryan and Brown wrote to DOL Secretary Acosta urging the department provide relief for the workers and families in Northeast Ohio. Ryan and Brown encouraged the State of Ohio to apply for the grant.
November 19, 2018: Ryan and Mahoning Valley Leaders launched the “Drive It Home” campaign aimed at bolstering support for GM Lordstown and the Mahoning Valley Workforce.