DEFIANCE, Ohio (WANE) U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) has sent a letter to General Motors CEO Mary Barra asking her to find jobs within the company for 157 employees facing layoffs at a plant in Defiance, Ohio.
According to a press release from Senator Brown, GM has announced it will discontinue the manufacture of nodular iron parts at its Defiance foundry. That move will result in the layoffs of 157 employees by 2018. Senator Brown indicated 300 jobs are already slated to be eliminated at the plant in 2017.
According to an article on the Toledo Blade website, the Defiance plant, Defiance Casting Operations, employs more than 1,100 workers and there are no plans to close the facility.
“My top priority is ensuring that General Motors does right by the loyal and hardworking employees affected by the closure of its iron casting division and by the Defiance community,” Brown is quoted as saying in the news release. “That includes finding new jobs within General Motors for as many of these skilled and efficient workers as possible. I will work with local union leaders and General Motors management to transition the affected employees so they can continue to provide for their families.”
The following is the entire text of the letter sent by Senator Brown to Mary Barra:
Dear Ms. Barra:
Recently, General Motors Company announced plans to discontinue the manufacture of nodular iron parts at the GM foundry in Defiance, Ohio. This move will result in the loss of 157 jobs by 2018, on top of more than 300 jobs losses already scheduled for 2017.
It is my understanding that GM has pledged to find new jobs within the company for the employees affected by the closure of the iron casting division- either in Defiance or nearby Fort Wayne and Toledo. I ask you to confirm these plans and the specific steps that will be taken to reassign these workers. These hardworking and loyal employees deserve no less.
The community of Defiance has a long and proud history with General Motors, and its people are committed to helping General Motors produce quality trucks and cars for years to come. I encourage you to make the most of GM’ s talented and dedicated workforce in Defiance as General Motors develops new lines in the future.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if there are any ways I can be of assistance.
In a statement, Defiance Casting Operations described the following factors as reasons for the mass layoff:
- This is a business decision to exit this area and focus on other core business areas.
- Nodular iron production is no longer a core business to GM.
- The current production volumes do not support a profitable operation.
- Capabilities of the current equipment does not allow the business to compete at a global level.
- It is cost prohibitive to invest in new equipment upgrades to produce nodular iron in Defiance due to the available capacity and capability of existing suppliers to meet demand.