General Motors Co Chief Executive Mary Barra plans to visit Capitol Hill next week to discuss its plans to halt production at five plants in North America next year and cut up to 15,000 jobs, two congressional aides said on Friday.
GM has come under harsh criticism from lawmakers from both major political parties, and from President Donald Trump, since Monday when the No. 1 U.S. automaker announced the biggest restructuring since its bankruptcy a decade ago, reports Reuters.
Barra is expected to meet with lawmakers from Michigan and Ohio, where GM plans to shutter three plants, as well as senior leaders in Congress. GM did not immediately comment.
GM CEO Barra at a press conference at the North American International Auto Show
Representative Debbie Dingell, a Michigan Democrat, told reporters earlier this week that GM had done what others could not — uniting both parties in their anger. She added that GM “has to be the most thoroughly disliked company in Washington DC right now.” She also criticized GM’s handling of the layoffs.
GM said this week that many workers at plants that are ending production will be able to transfer to open jobs at other plants.
Barra has been calling lawmakers this week to explain the decision to end production. Trump has threatened to revoke subsidies for GM for electric vehicles.
Barra also will speak at a forum next week at Harvard University in Massachusetts for new incoming members of Congress.
GM plans to halt production next year at three assembly plants: the Lordstown small-car factory near Youngstown, Ohio; the Detroit-Hamtramck complex in Detroit; and the Oshawa, Ontario, assembly complex near Toronto. It will also stop building several models now assembled at those plants, including the Chevrolet Cruze, the Chevrolet Volt hybrid, the Cadillac CT6 and the Buick LaCrosse.
Additionally, GM plans to shutter the Warren transmission plant outside Detroit and a plant that makes electric motors and drivetrains outside Baltimore, Maryland.
GM could opt to add additional new products to those plants at a later date after it holds contract talks next summer with the United Auto Workers union.
Cost pressures on GM and other automakers and suppliers have increased as demand has waned for traditional sedans. The company has said tariffs on imported steel, imposed earlier this year by the Trump administration, have cost it $1 billion.