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GM’s Car Volume Reduction Results In 600 Workers Taking Buyouts In Lordstown

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John Goreham
Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com
6-12-2018


General Motors is scaling back the production of its sedans to match the declining sales the company has been seeing for those models. One example is the Lordstown, Ohio production facility that builds the Chevrolet Cruze. Last year the Lordstown plant had about 4,000 workers building the sedan. That count will be reduced to about 1,500 after the latest buyouts. The plant first eliminated the third shift. That reduced the jobs in the plant by about 1,000. Now GM is planning further cuts to eliminate the second shift. 


To encourage workers to quit, rather than be laid off, GM is offering workers a financial incentive to move on to other work or to retire. Local news affiliate WFMJ reports that those workers who qualify for and accept an early retirement will receive a $60,000 incentive payment. Workers who opt to quit their union job will receive a buyout of between $50,000 and $5,000 depending upon their length of service with the company.  

gm lordstown.jpg
With unemployment near historic lows in America, 3.7% as of the last report, 4.0% in Ohio overall, this would seem to be the best of times to be making the difficult transition to new work. In Trumbull County Ohio, where Lordstown is located, the unemployment rate is higher than the national average at 5.5%. However, one neighboring county, Geauga County, has a 3.8% rate.  


Local employment groups are stepping up to help out. Last year, the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber provided a list of companies in the area that were hiring to GM and United Auto Workers.
“We would certainly be pleased to offer that service [again],” said Sarah Boyarko, the chamber’s senior vice president of economic development. “I think there are employment opportunities for these folks when they go through that separation, and oftentimes, it’s a matter of knowing where to go.”

 

Year to date sales of the Chevy Cruze were down 26% year over year when reported by GM in March. The Cruze competes with cars like the Honda Civic line and the Toyota Corolla line. This month, Toyota released an all-new Toyota Corolla Hatchback. Its gasoline engine is expected to be rated at 36 MPG combined, higher than the current Cruze diesel hatchback. It is also expected to be quicker and will have more standard safety features included than the Cruze.   

 

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Good luck to the workers with 10 to 15 years in.  Impossible to find a job that pays $30/hr (or whatever it is now) plus benefits to support their current monthly bills.  People tend to live to their means plus a little bit. Having to change careers and starting at half the pay is tough to handle. 

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