The news has been meet with harsh criticism and President Trump has said “They better damn well open a new plant there very quickly.” While a new plant appears to be off the table, it looks like the fate of Lordstown Assembly might not be so dire.
The Detroit Bureau is reporting that GM is “dangling the possibility that the factory … could be salvaged” as a part of contract talks with the United Auto Workers (UAW). The talks are slated to begin next summer and they’ll likely be contentious as GM will leave four plants in the United States unallocated. In a preview of things to come, UAW Vice President Terry Dittes has previously said “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.”
While nothing has been decided yet, GM spokesman Pat Morrissey told the publication “Plant closings are a matter of negotiations between GM and the United Auto Workers.” He went on to say the plants are simply “unallocated” and this means “there is still the possibility GM will move forward and allocate new product there as part of the next agreement.”
It remains unclear what will happen when talks kick off this summer, but GM could seek concessions from the UAW in order to keep Lordstown Assembly open. In return, GM could decide to build a new vehicle at the plant. Of course, only time will tell what happens to the plant and its employees.