GM job cuts cause an angry reaction in the heart that supported Trump

The victories of Donald Trump in Ohio and Michigan, places where General Motors (GM) will close its businesses, helped to seal its total vote and the presidency. Photo: AP

The victories of Donald Trump in Ohio and Michigan, places where General Motors (GM) will close its businesses, helped to seal its total vote and the presidency. Photo: AP

Washington: The plan of General Motors Co. (GM) to cancel the production in the factories of the EE. UU And cutting thousands of jobs caused a rapid reprimand in the industrial heart, where the president of the United States. UU Members of both parties criticized the measure announced on Monday, citing government badistance the company has received in recent years, from the federal bailout of the auto industry in 2009 to the $ 1.5 billion tax cut that became law in last December

"The company got a huge tax reduction from last year's Republican Party tax law and did not invest that money in US jobs," wrote Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, calling GM's decision "corporate greed in its worst moment".

GM said on Monday it would cease production at vehicle badembly plants in Ohio, Michigan and Ontario, Canada, at the end of next year as part of a restructuring plan that the company expects to include some 14,000 wage and factory workers. The plan will also complete the work at the plants that carry out transmissions and other components in Maryland and Michigan.

Trump ran for the White House with the commitment to revitalize besieged industrial communities across the United States, promising more jobs and more factories. At a 2017 rally in Youngstown, Ohio, near one of the factories that GM announced would close, Trump said that "after years and years of sending our jobs and wealth to other countries, we are finally defending our workers and our companies" .

Trump's victories in Ohio and Michigan helped seal his total vote and the presidency of the United States. Trumbull County, Ohio, where the village of Lordstown is located, backed him with 51% of the vote, after four years earlier, he gave Barack Obama 60% of the vote.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on GM's decision.

Arno Hill, the mayor of Lordstown, home to the large factory where GM now plans to stop producing the small Chevrolet Cruze car next year, said the mood in the village of some 3,000 people was "bleak."

"I'll say I'm not the happiest guy in town," Hill said in a telephone interview. Still, he said he was hopeful that GM would use the huge facilities to build a new product. "They said they were stopping production, not closing."

Jim Graham, the former president of the United Automobile Workers union that covers employees at the GMstown plant in Lordstown, called the announcement "depressing" and added: "Hopefully we can do something."

Senator Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, helped overcome historic corporate tax cuts last year as a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, of which Brown is also a member.

"I am deeply frustrated with the decision of General Motors," Portman said in a statement.

The progressive group Not One Penny estimated that GM's savings from the tax plan total more than $ 500 million. The group opposed the tax review and said GM's decision to close factories and cut jobs shows that the legislation was a failure.

"General Motors' decision to destroy its workforce is the epitome of corporate misconduct that Republicans in Congress have encouraged for generations," said spokesman Ryan Thomas. "Instead of using its mbadive tax savings to increase employee salaries or invest in its workforce, GM is closing plants and reducing jobs to increase profits and further enrich shareholders."

Rep. Tim Ryan, a district Democrat who includes the Lordstown plant, said the taxpayer bailout kept GM afloat during the recession.

"We fought together to keep GM afloat and the American taxpayers rescued them when they were on the verge of bankruptcy," Ryan said in a statement. "Thousands of families have sacrificed to make GM what it is today. And in return, GM has turned its back on us when we need it most. "

In 2009, GM and Chrysler requested Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganizations led by the Obama administration and funded in large part by taxpayers.

Steve Rattner, the head of the automatic working group of former President Obama who oversaw the bailouts of GM and Chrysler, said the announcement should not be interpreted as a violation of the rescue agreement because the industry has changed and companies must be able to adapt.

"No, I do not think this violates the 2009 agreement, in part because we always made it clear that GM should be free to run its business in the ordinary course," Rattner said. "It's important that GM is free to adjust its business accordingly."

In a statement announcing the decisions, GM said the restructuring would generate cash savings of approximately $ 6 billion that will be needed as the company competes to develop autonomous vehicles and a larger portfolio of electric cars.

"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 GM Executive Director Mary Barra in a statement.

Laura Davison of Bloomberg contributed to this story.

This story has been published from an information channel of the agency without modifications to the text. Only the owner has been changed.

Published for the first time: Mar 27 Nov 2018. 02 00 AM IST

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