GM Production Decision Harms Workers in Michigan, Ohio, Maryland

General Motors decision today to stop production at the Lordstown, Ohio, and Hamtramck, Michigan, assembly plants will idle thousands of workers, and will not go unchallenged by the UAW.

This decision will also affect employment at other GM locations including Baltimore, Maryland, and Michigan’s Brownstown and Warren Transmission plants.  The UAW and our members will confront this decision by GM through every legal, contractual and collective bargaining avenue open to our membership.

“This callous decision by GM to reduce or cease operations in American plants, while opening or increasing production in Mexico and China plants for sales to American consumers, is, in its implementation, profoundly damaging to our American workforce,” said Terry Dittes, UAW Vice President, Director GM Department. “GM’s production decisions, in light of employee concessions during the economic downturn and a taxpayer bailout from bankruptcy, puts profits before the working families of this country whose personal sacrifices stood with GM during those dark days. These decisions are a slap in the face to the memory and recall of that historical American made bailout.”

GM assembles cars, trucks and crossover vehicles outside of the United States for sales to American consumers. GM currently assembles versions of the full-size Chevy and GMC pickups in Mexico. In addition, the Buick Cascada is assembled in Poland and the Buick Envision is assembled in China only to be imported to the U.S. for American sales.

Recently, GM announced the new Chevy Blazer will also be assembled in Mexico and imported to the United States for American sales.

“We must step away from the anti-worker thinking of seeking simply the lowest labor cost on the planet,” said UAW President Gary Jones. “The practice of circumventing American labor in favor of moving production to nations that tolerate wages less than half of what our American brothers and sisters make, must stop. More importantly, we must understand that these companies, including GM, are no longer in trouble. They are recording annual profits in the tens of billions.”

To that end, the UAW and its membership will do its part to convince GM and all American employers that the American consumer market should support American-made products by building where we buy products. Simply said, American consumers need to be patriotic consumers by joining the UAW in this effort in saying ‘No’ to American companies that choose foreign workers over American workers and imported products over U.S.-made products.

As Dittes stresses, “This has, and always will be, a part of the fabric of the UAW.”

Be informed when making an American company automobile purchase: Examination of the driver-side window near the dashboard displays the Vehicle Identification Number plate (VIN) that identifies where the vehicle was assembled. VIN numbers beginning with “1”, “4” or “5” were assembled in the U.S., “2” were assembled in Canada, “3” were assembled in Mexico. If it begins with the letters J-R, it was assembled in Asia.

“America is only as great as the patriotism practiced within it,” says Jones. “The UAW does not believe that eliminating American jobs, hurting the American economy and devastating families and communities for quick profits, are the principles this country was built on.”

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