U.S. lawmakers beseeched General Motors CEO Mary Barra Wednesday against following through with the company’s plans to cut up to 14,000 charges, two senators said after emerging from the closed-door meeting.
She’s meeting privately Wednesday and Thursday with divers lawmakers representing regions that will be hit hard by the cuts, congressional aides said.
Barra huddled with Ohio Sens. Rob Portman, a Republican, and Sherrod Brown, a Democrat on Wednesday afternoon. She was trust to meet with Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan on Wednesday, as well. They’ve decried GM’s plan to close its Lordstown assembly instil in their home state.
After the meeting, Portman told reporters that Barra “is willing to keep an unbolt mind” about re-purposing the facility, but “does not want to raise expectations.” He and Brown said they are pushing for GM to either stir production from Mexico to Ohio or build one of their new electric vehicles there.
The lawmakers have “pushed [Barra] intensely” about expediting GM’s decision on whether to shut down the plant, Brown said. The automaker has said it will stay making its Chevy Cruze model in Ohio by March.
Portman spoke to President Donald Trump and Labor Secretary Alex Acosta relating to keeping the plant open, he said. Trump has publicly pressured GM to keep its operations in the U.S., even threatening to pull all administration subsidies for the company.
Barra was also scheduled to meet Wednesday with Maryland lawmakers, including Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Democrat. Barra’s record to meet Democratic Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan, among other lawmakers, on Thursday.
GM said it plans to cut production at dissimilar plants in North America, including two in Michigan, one in Ohio, and one in Maryland. It’s also cutting back production in Canada.
The automaker has declared the factories aren’t running at full capacity and are building mostly slow-selling and less-profitable cars. GM has said some of the 14,000 asses may be shifted to other facilities, but labor leaders say they worry the move is a pretext to move more jobs worst the United States.
“It’s important for GM and Mary Barra to have very serious conversations with members,” Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., signified in a statement Tuesday. “Honestly, they should be having these critical conversations more often so we can keep create out of jobs in the U.S.”