Trump pressures GM over OH plant closure, wants it ‘open now’

Trump pressures GM over OH plant closure, wants it ‘open now’

US President Trump said that he spoke with General Motors CEO Mary Barra in person over the company's decision to close a manufacturing plant in Lordstown, Ohio.

Trump tweeted Monday that GM should: "Close a plant in China or Mexico, where you invested so heavily pre-Trump", and "Bring jobs home!"

The plant closed earlier this month, triggering a lawsuit from the UAW of GM, which said GM violated their 2015 negotiated contract. A UAW spokesman said in a statement Sunday that the union's "focus is on our members and to leave no stone unturned to keep the GM plants open". The sprawling facility was idled after more than 50 years producing cars and other vehicles, falling victim to changing USA auto preferences, according to the company.

General Motors stock (GM) skyrocketed following the announcement, but elected officials were far less pleased.

Less than 24 hours later, President Trump sent out another tweet discussing the Lordstown GM plant, this time specifically addressing a local union boss about the closure. He said Barra told him during a phone call that the United Auto Workers union was at fault, to which he replied, "I don't care, I just want it open!"

UAW is the United Automobile Workers union, which represents GM workers. The letter came as GM laid off the Lordstown plant's second shift and announced the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer would be assembled in Mexico.

President Trump reacted via Twitter on Saturday, urging the automaker to act quickly and open the facility back up while praising the US investments made by their competitor, Toyota.

Earlier on Sunday, Trump tweeted that "Democrat UAW Local 1112 President David Green ought to get his act together and produce". Get that big, attractive plant in OH open now.

"We remain open to talking with all affected stakeholders, but our main focus remains on our employees and offering them jobs in our plants where we have growth opportunities", it said.

GM didn't immediately respond to The Associated Press' requests for comment.

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.

The company also intends to close four other North American plants by early next year.

Toyota, Japan's largest automaker, has tried to work its way into Trump's good graces after being a target of his tweets when he was president-elect in January 2017.

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