Let the resurrection of GM Lordstown begin
Tribune Chronicle editorial board members are to be applauded for recently awarding an “orchid” to local leaders who remain resolute in their insistence on the allocation of a new product for GM Lordstown, a demand for economic justice certain to be firmly sounded at the bargaining table in Detroit and hopefully echoed by every resident in the Mahoning Valley and beyond. Good jobs face a new existential threat in the heart of America’s Rust Belt. But we know that the power of the people, especially a united one, is greater than the people in power, even the most cruel and greedy.
Corporate greed and cruelty, victorious at the onset of this bitter struggle, will not triumph in the end, at least not in a nation really under God. The crucifixion of GM Lordstown awaits a resurrection, one that commences with cancellation of the sale of this massive plant to a limping lilliputian corporation burdened by massive debt and lingering losses.
Aside from its woeful financial condition, Workhorse holds unions in utter contempt as clearly stated in its last annual report: “The mere fact that our labor force could be unionized may harm our reputation in the eyes of some investors and thereby negatively affect our stock price. Consequently, the unionization of our labor force could negatively impact our company’s health.”
Why would the UAW ever agree to the sale of GM Lordstown to a rabidly anti-union outfit?
But there is an attractive alternative. Instead of a sale of GM Lordstown to Workhorse, something the UAW can and hopefully will prevent, why not have GM buy Workhorse in 2019 like it did with the start-up Cruise in 2016? When GM purchased the all-electric Cruise for $1 billion, it had only 36 employees. Now it is worth over $11 billion with some 1,000 employees.
Why not repeat that mutually beneficial outcome in Lordstown? To use the words of GM CEO Mary Barra in a press release announcing the projected sale: “Workhorse has innovative technologies that could help preserve Lordstown’s more than 50-year tradition of vehicle assembly work.” So, why not simply buy it and continue that proud tradition as GM Lordstown, retooled to be one of America’s major manufacturers of cars of the future? Let the resurrection, not requiem, of GM Lordstown begin.