Trump Attacks General Motors for Laying Off Auto Workers

President Trump warned General Motors that "time is of the essence" to reopen a plant in OH that closed earlier this month, citing the strong economy and competition from companies like Toyota.

Mr. Trump tweeted over the weekend and through Monday morning about his frustration with the plant's closure, claiming that "car companies are all coming back to the U.S." and touting the US economy as "the envy of all".

Trump is set to visit a General Dynamics manufacturing plant in Ohio Wednesday before also attending a fundraiser.

General Motors says in a statement released Sunday evening that the future of plants scheduled to be closed "will be resolved between GM and the UAW", referring to the United Auto Workers union.

The plant closed earlier this month, triggering a lawsuit from the UAW of GM, which said GM violated their 2015 negotiated contract.

The automaker also says that it has "opportunities available for virtually all impacted employees" at plants that are to be shuttered. In a statement at the time, GM cited "changing customer preferences in the U.S." when announcing the layoffs.

While Trump has previously criticized GM, Sunday appeared to be the first time that he targeted Green, a local union official, by name.

Green, who's been a critic of the president in the past, said Trump had pledged to preserve jobs in Trumbull County, where GM's Lordstown plant is located, but the unemployment rate there was 7.7 percent in January.

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The Lordstown plant shut down earlier this month, putting about 1,700 employees out of work.

Trump delivered equal criticism to General Motors CEO Mary Barra and the head of the local UAW union, David Green, to speed up talks between the two groups and perhaps negotiate a sale of the plant. GM is continuing to produce the Cruze in Mexico for other markets, but not for the United States.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, last week expressed doubts GM will reopen its Lordstown plant, but he said the automaker indicated it's in talks with another company about using the site. In December, they announced a new plant opening up in China.

"G.M. let our Country down, but other much better auto companies are coming into the droves", Trump tweeted earlier Sunday.

In the second tweet, President Trump also claimed "much better" automakers are coming to the U.S. Over five years Toyota plans to invest almost $13 billion.

The final Cruze rolled off the Lordstown production line on March 6.

Sunday he said he didn't care who was to blame, he just wants the facility reopened.

  • Darren Santiago