Rup­pers­berger on clo­sure of White Marsh GM plant

The Avenue News - - EDITORIAL - -Con­gress­man C.A. Dutch Rup­pers­berger (D-2)

The Gen­eral Mo­tors plant in White Marsh has al­ways been a source of pride for the Sec­ond Dis­trict, Bal­ti­more County and me, per­son­ally. I re­mem­ber when they first opened their doors in 2000: as Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive, I worked hard to con­vince them that White Marsh – not Mex­ico or Canada – was the right place to grow. A prime lo­ca­tion on I-95, a world-class work­force and agree­able union terms helped. Tax in­cen­tives sealed the deal.

So it’s with anger – not sad­ness – to learn that Gen­eral Mo­tors will end pro­duc­tion at the White Marsh plant as part of a larger cor­po­rate re­struc­tur­ing that will elim­i­nate jobs for 15 per­cent of its North Amer­i­can work­force, in­clud­ing 400 here in our com­mu­nity. This, after the com­pany has re­ceived more than $245 mil­lion in grants from state, fed­eral and lo­cal gov­ern­ments and a $50 bil­lion tax­payer bailout. To add in­sult to in­jury, Gen­eral Mo­tors plans to shift some of its pro­duc­tion to Mex­ico and China.

When the Amer­i­can peo­ple in­vest in you, you owe it to the Amer­i­can peo­ple to in­vest in them.

End­ing pro­duc­tion makes lit­tle sense to me. The plant is big, clean and mod­ern, with a work­force to match. By its own cor­po­rate met­rics, the White Marsh em­ploy­ees are ex­tremely pro­duc­tive and have one of the high­est at­ten­dance rates in North Amer­ica, with few lead­er­ship griev­ances. I have heard from em­ploy­ees al­ready wor­ried about how they will make ends meet as we ap­proach the hol­i­days.

This is why I have writ­ten two let­ters. The first is to Gen­eral Mo­tors Chair­man Teresa Barra de­mand­ing and ex­pla­na­tion of this de­ci­sion and urg­ing her to re­con­sider. The sec­ond is to Pres­i­dent Trump, re­quest­ing his in­ter­ven­tion and ask­ing him to make good on his cam­paign prom­ise to bring man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs back to Amer­ica.

I stand ready to work with him, Gen­eral Mo­tors, and our la­bor lead­ers to do what­ever we can to lift up our in­dus­trial com­mu­ni­ties and the fam­i­lies that call them home. White Marsh de­serves bet­ter.

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