general motors

Boosters for the Youngstown-area economy have ever more frequently dubbed the Mahoning Valley as “Voltage Valley,” hoping technology will give far Northeast Ohio a needed jolt. A big piece of this transformation is the new life supporters are trying to breathe into a shuttered GM plant in Lordstown. An electric truck company named Lordstown Motors could be a tent pole for this future tech strategy. ideastream’s Glenn Forbes joined Tony Ganzer on All Things Considered to talk about Lordstown Motors.

A delegation of Korean executives from LG Chem met in Washington, D.C., Wednesday with state and federal officials to lay the groundwork for a new electric vehicle battery factory in Lordstown.

In 2008, GM closed its manufacturing plant in Dayton, Ohio, sending the community into a tailspin. Workers who had been unionized at GM struggled to find jobs that paid close to the wages the plant had paid.

"After that GM plant closed, things were so hard for so long," Ohio-based filmmaker Steven Bognar says. "People lost their homes. The jobs you could get were at the Kohl's distribution center or Payless Shoes warehouse distribution center or fast food. People were making $9 an hour."

Signs hang from windows at the UAW Local 1112 union hall, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, in Lordstown, Ohio.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

Eight kids sit at the conference table pitching their projects: smart phones that expand, fold, fit around their wrists.

There’s a lot up in the air for the new joint venture to build a $2.3 billion electric battery production plant in Lordstown. But companies at least have nailed down a location.

General Motors plans to hold public hearings with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency in March on their proposed battery plant with LG Chem in Lordstown, breaking ground by the spring if permits are secured.

In this Nov. 28, 2018, file photo, snow covers the perimeter of the General Motors' Lordstown plant, in Lordstown, Ohio.
John Minchillo / Associated Press

General Motors has picked a site to build a new electric battery cell factory in Lordstown, Ohio, next to the site of a former car assembly plant it shut down last year.

The GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio, closed in 2019 as part of a massive company restructuring.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

General Motors announced on Thursday a joint venture with LG Chem, a subsidiary of LG Corporation, to create a new manufacturing plant in Lordstown to build high-performing batteries for its fleet of electric vehicles.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, left, and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speak to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The impeachment inquiry is drawing a big line between Republicans and Democrats, but lawmakers are still working together on some legislation.

The GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio, closed in 2019 as part of a massive company restructuring.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

The company that bought Lordstown’s former General Motors plant expects to start producing an electric pickup truck there within the next year.

The president of the United Autoworkers Union, Gary Jones, abruptly resigned Wednesday just as union leaders announced they would expel him and another top UAW official in an unfolding corruption scandal.

In a related development, General Motors (GM) filed suit against rival Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) alleging that the company bribed UAW officials in order to get favorable labor contracts and disadvantage GM.

Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reported that the UAW's International Executive Board unanimously voted to expel Jones.

The GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio, closed in 2019 as part of a massive company restructuring.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

General Motors is selling a massive assembly plant it shut down earlier this year in Lordstown, a closing that drew threats and scolding from President Donald Trump, to a newly formed company that said Thursday it intends to begin making electric trucks by late 2020.

Workers at the General Motors Lordstown assembly plant have built cars and a community for more than 50 years. Earlier this year, GM shuttered the plant, but hope had remained that it would not close permanently. GM’s new contract with union workers, approved Friday, dashed those hopes. 

WKSU joined workers on the picket line at the assembly plant last week for a final farewell to Lordstown.

The sun begins to set in the early afternoon behind the General Motors Metal Fabrication Division in Parma, Ohio Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2019.
Carter Adams / WKSU

United Auto Workers members in Parma voted to ratify a new contract with General Motors on Thursday.

In this Sept. 16, 2019, file photo a picketer carries sign at one of the gates outside the closed General Motors automobile assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio.
Keith Srakocic / AP

If they can close our plant, they can close yours, too.

That's the message from workers at three shuttered General Motors factories that didn't get new products under the tentative contract agreement reached last week between GM and the United Auto Workers, who have been on strike against the company across the U.S. for over six weeks now.

General Motors and the United Auto Workers have reached a tentative agreement to end the strike that began one month ago, the labor union announced Wednesday. The UAW GM National Council will vote on the deal Thursday.

When the national council reviews the deal's terms, it will also decide whether nearly 50,000 workers should remain on strike or whether they should go back to work before the full membership ratifies the agreement.

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