AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – The $50 million investment General Motors is making to its Lordstown Complex means greater job security for members of the United Auto Workers Union and greater flexibility for future products to be manufactured at the plant, a union leader at the plant says.
The funds will be spent for a new flexible trim shop to support production of the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan, the company announced.
The investment “will give us a lot of flexibility and make us very versatile for whatever products come along in the future,” remarked Glenn Johnson, president of UAW Local 1112.
For the 2,900 assembly workers Local 1112 represents, the investment “means that they’re going to have a job to come to every day for the foreseeable future,” he remarked. “And anytime you have enhanced job security like that, it sets your mind at ease and frees up some of your discretionary spending, when you’re not afraid to go out and make that purchase and go to that restaurant and go to the theater and spend time with your family.”
The plant is running three 8-hour shifts daily to build the Cruze, GM’s best-selling car, according to a GM news release. Since 2009, the year before GM launched the Cruze for North America in Lordstown, the automaker has invested approximately $250 million at the plant.
The announcement comes a little over a month after GM halted many of its Cruze sales and issued a recall to address an axel issue. “We’re like a family,” Johnson remarked. “Although our team members go to work every day to build the best quality car there could be, sometimes we do have these supplier issues.
“Now we celebrate,” he continued. “We’ve got a new investment, we’ve got job security for our members and that’s the most important thing.”
U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, said he was "thrilled" at GM's decision to make its "massive investment" at Lordstown and "double-down" on its commitment to build the next-generation Cruse in northeastern Ohio for years to come.
"This investment is a testament to the cutting edge, innovative work done in Lordstown day in and day out," he said in a statement issued by his office this afternoon. "The Lordstown Plant has turned out more than 15 million vehicles since it first opened its doors and this investment insures that American auto manufacturing will continue to thrive right here in our backyard."
Copyright 2014 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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