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Photo: gm.com

Trump Unhappy: GM Cuts 15% of Workforce

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DETROIT, MICHIGAN - November 27, 2018

General Motors announced its plans to close three vehicle assembly plants: two in the US and one in Canada in 2019. Two transmission plants are also to be closed in the US. The company said it is all being done as part of an effort to cut 15% of its workforce, in order to increase efficiency. The economic effect is expected at $6 billion by the end of 2020.

GM said it’s not about greed—it’s about global product development. The company is going to double investment in electric and autonomous vehicle programs.

“We are announcing the cessation of certain products resulting in a number of plants being without allocated volume to produce,” GM spokesperson Julie Huston-Rough told NPR. She added that shutting down or closing a plant is an issue that must be discussed in negotiations with the United Auto Workers.

The shutdown, announced Monday, will impact Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly in Detroit, Lordstown Assembly, Ohio and Oshawa Assembly in Oshawa, Ontario Canada.

General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly/gm.com

gm.com

1,500 workers are still producing the Buick LaCrosse, the Chevrolet Volt, the Cadillac CT6, and the Chevrolet Impala in Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, but that will end in 2019.

There’s also the touching story of the Lisiecki family that was published earlier this year on the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant site. It’s a story of a family that has ties with GM dating back to the 1950s.

Bob Lisiecki’s long relationship with GM began before he was born. His grandfather was hired into the Detroit Diesel Division in the mid-1950s, and 15 years later, he helped Bob’s father get in as well.

Years passed, and in 1977, Bob and his twin brother Rick Lisiecki decided to follow in their grandfather’s and father’s footsteps. Even after their grandfather and father passed, the brotherly unit stayed loyal to the company, never once wavering in their dedication to GM’s values.

Seven years later, the two were laid off at Detroit Diesel and went to work at the Lake Orion Assembly Plant. They stayed there until 1991 when they transferred to the Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Plant. They have been there ever since.

Fast-forward to 2008. Bob gave his daughter Bre’Anna Lisiecki an application on her 18th birthday to apply to work at D-HAM. While Bre’Anna was not immediately hired, Bob didn’t lose hope and chose to also refer his son, Mark Lisiecki, four years later. He’d been delivering sandwiches and Bob gave him the same spiel as Bre’Anna. He was hired at GM and two months later Bre’Anna was as well.

Today, Bob, Rick, Bre’Anna and Mark Lisiecki are known at the plant for their strong family unit. They aim to protect families like theirs by holding each other accountable at all times.

“My dad always tells us to take pride in what we do,” said Bre’Anna. “One day I got written up for a mistake, and my dad yelled at me so loud that my own supervisor decided not to mention it since my dad did it for him. Let’s just say that has never happened again.”

Bob hopes his children will continue the family tradition and encourage their kids to work for GM as well.

In 2019, the Lisiecki family, as all other plant workers will be laid off, and, taking into consideration GM;s plans to cut 15% of its workforce, they will not find a new job in the company. They were loyal to the company. The company was not loyal to them.

gm.com

The Ohio-based Lordstown Assembly is the home of the Chevrolet Cruze. 1,600 people work there. This plant recycles over 4,800 tons of cardboard a year.  The people there will lose their jobs too. They won’t be as happy as in this picture on Day of Caring:

gm.com

Two transmission plants — Baltimore Operations in White Marsh, Maryland, and Warren Transmission in Warren, Michigan — are also set to stop production.

GM says Baltimore Operations is a highly green and environmentally friendly plant. It recycles 90% of its waste, with the rest going to waste energy. The campus is powered in part by a 1.23-megawatt rooftop solar array, generating about 9% of the plant’s annual energy consumption.

Warren Transmission keeps up with it. It is Wildlife habitat certified since 2009. The facility is a Business Pollution Prevention Partner since 2008 and has been landfill-free certified since 2008

Even though GM says the plant’s goods didn’t bring in a lot of money, that’s no reason to cut the workforce instead of utilizing it somewhere else. But if you believe in what the company’s officials say, just read what GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said: “These actions will increase the long-term profit and cash generation potential of the company and improve resilience through the cycle.”

She talks about profit, not about people’s jobs. They asked them to be loyal when they needed them and now the people can be laid off without regret. No need to seek new work for them. They are specialists in different fields— how could it be that such a big company as GM doesn’t have jobs for them?

It’s okay to close the plant in Canada and in Korea too, but President Trump promised to bring jobs back to America. It’s just ridiculous. GM declared bankruptcy by Chapter 11 in 2009. The US Treasury invested $51 billion into the GM bankruptcy and recovered only $39 billion in 2013. $12 billion of taxpayers’ money disappeared into thin air.

You can expect more social responsibility from a company that was saved on the public dime, but that’s not the case here.

“The actions we are taking today continue our transformation to be highly agile, resilient and profitable, while giving us the flexibility to invest in the future,” said Barra. “We recognize the need to stay in front of changing market conditions and customer preferences to position our company for long-term success.”

According to Mary Barra, the executive position will be down by 25%. “We will achieve this through a combination of voluntary and involuntary programs,” she said.

The UAW responded and vowed to fight the GM restructuring. “This callous decision by GM to reduce or cease operations in American plants, while opening or increasing production in Mexico and China plants for sales to American consumers, is, in its implementation, profoundly damaging to our American workforce,” said Terry Dittes, UAW Vice President, Director GM Department.

“The UAW and our members will confront this decision by GM through every legal, contractual and collective bargaining avenue open to our membership,” the union said in a statement.

President Trump told reporters, “We don't like it; I believe they'll be opening up something else.” He added that he’s “not happy” about the announcement.

The communities impacted by the decision are digesting the news.

“They told me straight up there's nothing we can do,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford told lawmakers, according to the CBC. He called the decision “absolutely devastating,” and the broadcaster reported that thousands of workers at the Ontario plant stopped working Monday.

“GM owes the community answers on how the rest of the supply chain will be impacted and what consequences its disastrous decision will have on the Mahoning Valley and our state,” Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown said in a statement. Ohio Gov. John Kasich called it “painful to see this happen to the plant's workers,” noting that the plant had been working with GM for more than 50 years.

Barra explained that GM is restructuring now, “while the company and the economy are strong, to stay in front of a fast-changing market.”

Author: Michael Green