12/04/18

Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.) called the latest round of mass layoffs and plant closures at General Motors “unacceptable” during an interview that aired on Tuesday.

Mitchell, who is a former businessman and CEO, told Hill.TV’s “Rising” that GM’s restructuring is no way to run a company or treat its factory workers.

“The lack of responsibility for what we do with the workers, product planning to tell them what their future is, is an unacceptable way to manage,” Mitchell told co-hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton.

“Product planning in terms of what they hope to produce in the future and the opportunities that are there for employees are a critical part of running your company and it fell through terribly,” he added.

Before representing Michigan’s 10th Congressional District, Mitchell was the CEO and owner of Ross Medical Education Center.

His comments come after GM announced last week that it will cut 15 percent of its workforce and plans to close up to five plants in North America, inviting a backlash from President Trump and lawmakers from both parties. 

The automaker’s move comes amid efforts to cut costs and focus more on autonomous and electric vehicles. Even though more and more Americans are continuing to shift away from small cars toward trucks and SUVs, automakers like GM and Ford are investing more and more into self-driving initiatives. 

In 2015, GM introduced the first mass-produced electric vehicle after beating out fellow competitors like Tesla. However, the Michigan-based automaker is waiting regulatory approval to begin the rollout. 

Lawmakers, meanwhile are working to pass a bill called the American Vision for Safer Transportation through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies Act, or AV START ACT.

First introduced last year, the comprehensive legislation lays the groundwork for laws that would govern autonomous cars, while also supporting research into further technological advancement. However, some Senate Democrats, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), have voiced concern over the legislation, citing safety and privacy issues.  

Mitchell argued that GM is cutting costs and shifting toward a market that doesn’t exist — at least not yet.

“They have problems with trying to produce high-efficiency cars that there isn’t a market for, let’s be honest fuel efficient cars, little cars are not big in the United States — that’s driven by a lot of policy issues they ran into,” he told Hill.TV.

— Tess Bonn

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