The idling of General Motors’ (GM) transmission plant in Warren, Michigan, is expected to cost about 16,000 jobs in the state over the next two years, analysis finds, as hundreds of laid-off American workers have already been uprooted.
Last week, GM CEO Mary Barra idled the 78-year-old Warren Transmission plant, leaving about 335 American workers laid off from their jobs and forcing them to either find new work in the area or uproot their lives to take jobs at the automaker’s other plants.
Barra, last year, announced GM would stop production at four of its U.S. plants, including Detroit-Hamtramck and Warren Transmission in Michigan, Lordstown Assembly in Ohio, and Baltimore Operations in Maryland. The Lordstown Assembly plant closure has resulted in the immediate layoff of about 1,500 American workers, while another 8,000 workers in supporting jobs in the community are expected to be laid off as well. GM, though, is still hoping to sell the plant to another manufacturer.
The closing of the Warren plant could have serious implications for employment across Michigan as American workers in supporting industries are projected to likewise lose their jobs.
University of Michigan researchers revealed earlier this year that GM’s closing of the Warren plant — coupled with its closing of the Detroit-Hamtramck plant — could result in about 16,000 American workers across the state losing their jobs over the next two years.
Workers laid off at GM’s Warren plant expressed to the Detroit News their nervousness for the future.
“My American dream… the rug was just pulled right from under me,” said 44-year-old Danielle Murry, who worked at the Warren plant for 19 years.
“General Motors could have invested here,” said Local 909 United Auto Workers (UAW) President Ghana Goodwin-Dye, according to the Detroit News. “We have a building of 2.7 million-square-feet, but they chose in this great economy to ship their business to Mexico and China. We have been trying to get new work here for quite some time.”
GM Begins Closing 78-Year-Old Michigan Plant, Laying Off 335 American Workershttps://t.co/8cH6u18E6c
— John Binder 👽 (@JxhnBinder) July 31, 2019
Earlier this year, Barra — who has continued to earn a nearly $22 million annual salary — laid off about 1,300 Americans at GM’s Warren Technical Center as part of a broader layoff, leaving about 4,000 workers without jobs. GM executives said so far about 60 of the Warren plant workers have been transferred to other jobs at the company.
While laying off thousands of Americans, GM is set to expand in China and South Korea and is now the top automaker in Mexico, where the corporation employs about 16,000 workers and keeps open four plants.
By 2023, GM executives have said they will produce 20 new electric vehicles, the vast majority of which are set to be made in China. Likewise, the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer is set to be made in South Korea and imported to the U.S. by 2020. The 2020 Buick Encore GX, too, is to be made in South Korea and imported to the U.S. for American consumers.
American manufacturing is vital to the U.S. economy, as every one manufacturing job supports an additional 7.4 American jobs in other industries. Decades of free trade, with deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), have eliminated nearly five million manufacturing jobs from the American economy and resulted in the closure of about 50,000 manufacturing plants.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.