By Jay Heflin - 08/23/10 07:23 PM EDT
"I am writing to strongly urge that General Motors (GM) — a recipient of nearly $50 billion in taxpayer funded federal financial assistance — reconsider offshoring its jobs to Mexico at the expense of American workers," Yarmuth wrote to GM CEO Ed Whitacre and incoming Chief Executive Officer Daniel Akerson.
The company announced earlier this month that it would begin production of a new line of vehicles and engines at a plant in Coahuila, Mexico, which would generate 390 jobs there. Workers in Mexico earn roughly $4 an hour, compared to the roughly $50 an hour earned by U.S. workers.
"While the leadership of GM may believe such a decision makes economic sense and helps boost profit margins, it ignores the fact that your company would not exist today were it not for the support of American taxpayers," Yarmuth wrote, adding, "The automotive workforce is critical to the manufacturing base of the American economy."
The Center for Automotive Research recently found that 1.7 million automotive-related jobs affect more than 8 million jobs in the private sector.
"It is both an economic and moral imperative to the American people that these jobs are kept in the United States — where my constituents and hardworking Americans across the nation footed the bill that saved GM," Yarmuth wrote, adding the company should "focus on repaying your debts at home by helping get our citizens back to work."