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Trump to GM: Reopen Lordstown car plant

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Staff report

In a tweet Saturday evening, President Donald Trump sent a sharp message to General Motors telling the giant automaker to gets its Lords-town Complex open “fast.”

Officials of United Autoworkers Local 1112, which represents workers at the plant that officially closed March 8 did not respond to telephone calls seeking reaction to Trump’s tweet after months-long silence on the matter.

General Motors closed the Lords-town complex, which built the Chevrolet Cruze, without replacing the smaller car with a new product.

In his Saturday tweet, the president said the United States economy is good and strongly suggested that GM resume production “in a different form or with a new owner.”

Trump, who is set to visit nearby Canton on Wednesday, noted that Toyota is investing $13.5 billion in the U.S., and urged GM to act quickly.

“Time is of the essence,” he said in his tweet.

Both GM and the UAW have said that the future of Lordstown is expected to be an issue during contract negotiations this summer.

Before the president’s tweet, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine recently said he has had no answer from GM on the future of the Lordstown complex. But Vindicator columnist Bertram de Souza in today’s editions shares the response he received from the manufacturing giant.

The closing of the plant is leaving the future of many former GM Lordstown employees up in the air and breaking up families.

Some have said they are staying in the Mahoning Valley hoping for positive news from this summer’s labor negotiations, while others have transferred to other GM facilities or have found jobs outside the GM family or are retraining.

It isn’t just the GM workers who are being hurt by the plant closing.

According to economic research analyst George Zeller of Cleveland, the Lordstown GM closure is a “massive disaster for both the Mahoning Valley and Northeast Ohio as a whole.”

In a recent meeting with The Vindicator’s editorial board, DeWine said the state is eager to help bring GM back. He called it “a priority.”