Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanRepublicans criticizing Afghan refugees face risks Anti-Trump Republicans on the line in 2022 too Major US port target of attempted cyber attack MORE (R-Ohio) on Wednesday pressed General Motors to make electric vehicles at their Lordstown, Ohio, plant which has stopped new car production.
"GM’s decision to shut down production at the plant not only impacts the workers at Lordstown and their families, but thousands of others in the Mahoning Valley who work for suppliers and other businesses that support the plant. I remain incredibly frustrated and disappointed with GM’s decision, but I’m not giving up on this plant and these workers," the Ohio lawmaker said in a statement.
"GM says it will produce new 20 new electric vehicles by 2023 and, at the very least, one of those should be in Lordstown. I will continue to press GM executives to recommit to Lordstown, do the right thing by these workers who have given so much to this company, and bring new production to this plant,” he said.
GM announced in November that four U.S. plants, including the one in Lordstown, would be closed in 2019.
Company spokesperson Dan Flores said the plant will remain in a “state of readiness,” as the auto manufacturer completes contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers this summer.
The union sued GM last month to keep the plants open, arguing that their contract forbids the auto manufacturer from shuttering the plants.
The long-term future of the Lordstown plant will be determined after negotiations with UAW, a spokesperson for GM told The Hill.
“We know this is an emotional day for our Lordstown team,” they said. “We appreciate all their commitment and hard work to build the highest quality possible into each and every new vehicle that rolled off the assembly line."
Updated at 3:27 p.m.