WASHINGTON, D.C. – In case you missed it, the New York Times ran a photo essay last week, “The End of the Line,” which details the last days at the Lordstown GM factory and how GM laid off workers with little regard for their employees and their families. The essay features stories of several workers who were harmed by GM’s decision and the broad-ranging consequences of the plant closure for the Valley.
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has been fighting for Lordstown workers since GM announced layoffs at the plant and has demanded that GM reinvest in its Lordstown factory.
“Since 2005, the number of states with active G.M. assembly plants has fallen to seven from 16. With the idling of Lordstown’s plant, Ohio became the latest casualty on that list…The company had received a $50 billion bailout from American taxpayers only a decade ago, and now it was making near-record-breaking profits,” Dan Kaufman writes for the New York Times.
Following GM’s announcement, Brown and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) continue pushing GM to do the right thing. Brown and Sen. Portman met with GM CEO Mary Barra in December and urged GM to work with them to save Lordstown jobs. After the meeting, both Senators followed up with a letter pressing GM to bring a new product to Lordstown and give workers and the community the answers they deserve.
Brown has demanded that GM use its massive tax windfall from last year’s GOP tax bill to keep these jobs in Ohio. Under last year’s Republican tax bill, championed by President Trump, companies are rewarded with a lower tax rate when shipping American jobs overseas.
Brown has introduced legislation, American Cars American Jobs Act, which would get rid of these incentives for auto manufacturers to ship jobs overseas. The Toledo Blade editorialized that Brown’s bill would “put America and American workers first.” At a Senate Finance Committee hearing last September, an expert witness said Brown’s American Cars, American Jobs Act would ‘absolutely’ help American autoworkers.
Brown added a provision that would incentivize the purchase of electric cars after GM announced their intention to launch more than 20 new zero-emissions vehicles by 2023. Brown is encouraging GM to bring one of those products to Lordstown.
Brown’s bill would benefit Ohio companies and workers throughout the auto supply chain. The legislation would put U.S.-made cars on equal footing with foreign-made vehicles and update the tax code to remove incentives for auto companies to offshore jobs.
The New York Times photo essay can be found here.