Brown Statement on GM Vice President of Global Manufacturing's Visit to Mansfield, OH

Brown Conversation with General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson Secured Visit

MANSFIELD, OH – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today attended a meeting of the Mansfield Makes Sense Committee with General Motors’ Vice President of Global Manufacturing, Tim Lee. Earlier this month, Brown called GM CEO Fritz Henderson requesting an opportunity for the Mansfield community to make its case to GM.

“Mansfield is the reason GM has had such an effective stamping plant,” Brown said. “They invested in efficiency, and they invested in GM. This plant sets an example for the kind of performance that will make the new GM successful, and the community deserves an opportunity to prove it.”

Brown has been working with the Mansfield Makes Sense Committee, Mansfield Mayor Donald Culliver, Ontario Mayor Kenneth Bender, and Richland County Commissioner Gary Utt. On June 30, Brown wrote to Ken Cole, VP of Operations for GM, outlining why the plant should be part of the new GM.

A copy of Brown’s letter can be found below.

Dear Mr. Cole,

In organizing the new General Motors, I understood that tough decisions would be made, but believed they would be made based on what was good for General Motors. Yet GM is closing the Ontario-Mansfield Metal Center, the top performing stamping plant in the OM family while leaving less productive, more expensive stamping plants opened. A close study of this issue, even after my meeting with Tim Lee, the Vice President of North American operations, concludes that Mansfield makes sense for the New GM. Consider:
•    Ontario-Mansfield Metal Center was first in the OM Scorecard evaluation.
•    The cost per ton at Mansfield is the second lowest of the plants.
•    The labor-management relationship at the Ontario-Mansfield Center is a model for other plants in the county as evident by the pace-setting Competitive Operating Agreement.
•    Mansfield is first in Strokes per Hour, Line Transition, and Hours Operated per Die Change.

Closing this plant will send the wrong message to GM workers – and to the American public. Regardless of which plants are closed, equipment must be moved to other plants. I firmly believe it is in the new GM’s best interests to immediately halt the movement of equipment and allow an appeals process for this plant comparable to the one established for dealerships that are slated to be closed. I am confident that the new GM would decide to reverse the decision to close the Ontario-Mansfield Metal Center if they looked carefully at the strong performance of this plant. The new GM owes the dedicated workers in central Ohio – and the public – nothing less.

I ask for your timely response to this request.

U.S. Senator

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