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GM says more investment, jobs, coming to Toledo Transmission plant

General Motors’ plans to sell its shuttered factory in Lordstown, Ohio, to a company that builds electric trucks also include investing big bucks in several other Ohio cities, including Toledo.

President Trump announced the deal with a company named Workhorse on Twitter on Wednesday morning. He also wrote that GM plans to spend $700 million at three locations in Ohio and create 450 additional jobs. He wrote that he received the news in a conversation with GM CEO Mary Barra.

In a news release on Wednesday, General Motors listed Toledo along with Parma and Moraine as the cities that will see more investment and more jobs. The company also said the Toledo Transmission plant “will expand production of the company’s all-new 10-speed automatic transmission for trucks and SUVs.”

GM spokesman Dan Flores said most of the 450 jobs will be at Toledo Transmission and that they will be filled this year.

Mr. Flores added that the company is not disputing anything in Mr. Trump’s tweets. “However, at this point in time we are not providing any additional details.”

Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz in a statement thanked GM leadership for the investment.

“This morning I received news from General Motors officials in Detroit that the company would be creating more than 450 manufacturing jobs in three Ohio cities, including Toledo, where our Powertrain Plant will expand production of its all-new 10-speed automatic transmission for trucks and SUVs,” he said. “This means more good, high-paying jobs for Toledo. We are excited General Motors has decided to invest further in Toledo and I want to thank GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra for this expansion, which will help our community continue to flourish.”

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman said in a tweet that he’s optimistic about the news and that he has worked with Workhorse and looks forward to further developments.

His Democratic counterpart, Sen. Sherrod Brown, said it was too early to assess how the announcement will impact Ohio auto workers.

“GM’s decision to invest in facilities across the state is a testament to the Ohio workers and we welcome this news for Toledo, Parma and Moraine,” Mr. Brown said in a statement. “It’s still too early to tell whether the proposed sale of Lordstown is good news for workers there. Workhorse is a leader in electric vehicle manufacturing and we are proud to have them call Ohio home, but GM cannot shirk its responsibility to these workers. My number one job is always to fight for the best possible outcome for Ohio workers, and that’s what I will continue to do as we learn more.”

Gov. Mike DeWine also welcomed the news from GM but stressed that other pieces of the puzzle still have to fall in place to get a Lordstown deal across the finish line.

“The President’s tweet certainly kicked everything off today, didn’t it?” the governor said at a hastily scheduled news conference in his Statehouse office. “ When the CEO of General Motors places a call to the President of the United States, no one can expect this is not going to be out in the news pretty quickly.”

But he stressed that the deal still depends on a contract with the U.S. Postal Service to buy Workhorse’s electric vehicles and a labor deal with Lordstown’s former autoworkers.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said he had visited Workhorse a while ago, but Mr. DeWine said the company’s connection with the Lordstown plant is something new.

“This is an Ohio company, which is doubly good news in this,” Mr. Husted said. “This is a Cincinnati company that may have a major operation in Lordstown, which would be a great news story for everybody … But the governor rightly pointed out that there are a lot of things that have to happen before we actually call it a victory.”

The announcement came just after GM and the Canadian auto workers union reached a deal to save 300 jobs at an Ontario factory that is slated to close by the end of this year.

But the remainder of the 2,600 workers at the plant in Oshawa, near Toronto, are still scheduled to be laid off.

In response to GM’s announcement, UAW vice president Terry Dittes, director of the union’s GM department, said the union’s position remains unequivocal: “General Motors should assign a product to the Lordstown facility and continue operating it.”

The union said a federal lawsuit it filed over the closing of the Lordstown, Baltimore, and Warren, Mich., facilities is still pending and the UAW will continue efforts to protect contractual rights of its members at the three locations.


Posted By: The Blade on May 8, 2019.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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