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GM's Lordstown is gone, despite Trump promises



The President cast himself in 2016 as a savior for workers, taking the unusual tack of public pressuring corporations like Carrier in changing their plan for moving or changing production. But even months of demands, Trump has not been able to get GM to keep jobs at Lordstown.
Trump zeroed in on the Ohio plans because of his promise to working-class voters that he would revive US manufacturing, keeping jobs in the United States. With that promise, Trump won Ohio and did well with voters in Mahoning Valley.

In 2017, Trump went to Youngstown, 15 miles down the road from the Lordstown plans, and promised residents Do not sell your house. "Do not sell your house."

GM worker Ernie Long heard that speech while he was resting at the Lordstown plant.

"I said it was just three years ago," said Long, who was at the plant for 1

1 years. He's still a member of his union – Local 1112 – but is injured and not currently working.

Lordstown, which manufactured the Cruze sedan, closed on March 6, leaving 1,600 people without jobs. GM says it has relocated 1,300 hourly employees – but some hoping their old plant would reopen under a new union contract with GM. The deal reached this week, however, does not include any provision for that.

"So many people left the community with the thought in their mind that they know what they are doing in Lordstown one day," said Tommy Wolikow, a former Lordstown worker. "To hear this news that we might not get another General Motors product, it's just devastating."

Administration officials heralded the end of the GM strike Thursday, sidestepping the Lordstown issue. White House Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro told CNN on Thursday that the agreement seeks to "improve the lives of working people and women across the Midwest and beyond the supply chain spreads."

"It's important to get it right for both sides, and I think they did that."

Lordstown is one of four GM plants slated to close by the end of 2020. The tentative agreement saves only one, a plans in Detroit.

"It is with this agreement that three of those four facilities will close."

Manufacturing activity in September fell to its lowest point in a decade. The Rust Belt states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, which Flipped Flump, have all lost manufacturing jobs since June. Many of those jobs have moved overseas. In the last decade, GM has shifted jobs and product lines to Mexico because of lower manufacturing costs.

"GM is committed to future growth and investment in the state of Ohio," GM said in a statement. "Projects planned for the Mahoning Valley include the opportunity to bring battery cell production to the area, which would create approximately 1,000 manufacturing jobs."

But Trump has been specific about the Lordstown plan itself.

"I want to stay in the USA and want Lordstown, Ohio, in one of the best economies in our history, open or sold to a company. Trump tweeted in March shortly before the plant closed.

Hey, GM CEO Mary Barra calls Lordstown.

"Just spoke to Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors about the Lordstown Ohio plans, I'm not happy that it's closed when everything else in our country is BOOMING," Trump said in another March tweet. "Blamed the UAW Union – I do not care, I just want it open!"

The GM is looking forward to making the Workhorse Group's plan to produce a pickup truck within the Lordstown facility footprint a UAW success story. "


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