General Motors announced Monday that it will be stopping production at five plants along with taking other cost-saving measures in a move that will result in thousands of layoffs — and President Donald Trump clearly was not happy about this news.
The GM plants are expected to shut down production next year when 14,000 workers will be laid off.
The layoffs include 3,300 production workers in the United States and another 3,000 in Canada.
The company is also planning to cut salaried staff by 8,000.
“The actions we are taking today continue our transformation to be highly agile, resilient and profitable, while giving us the flexibility to invest in the future,” the company’s chairman, Mary Barra, said in a statement.
“We recognize the need to stay in front of changing market conditions and customer preferences to position our company for long-term success.”
Ford Motor recently made a similar decision in the face of slowing sales and a shift in consumer trends, as The New York Times reported.
There has been a shift toward larger vehicles in response to lower fuel costs over the last several years. President Trump has also engaged in a tariff battle that has hurt the industry by driving up steel prices.
“I think you’re going to see something else happen there, but I’m not happy about it,” Trump told reporters outside the White House on Monday afternoon.
“I have no doubt that in a not too distant future they’ll put something else. They better put something else in.”
Trump also said that he was very tough when he spoke with Barra on Sunday night.
He urged her to keep the Lordstown, Ohio, plant running while promising to put a lot of pressure on the company if it didn’t.
He also said that GM should open a new domestic plant elsewhere if not.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 26, 2018
General Motors even slashed its profit projections for the year because of the tariffs back in June.
Trump promised early on in his term as president to increase automaker jobs. He worked to put pressure on the industry not to shift work to other countries while implementing pro-business policies such as tax cuts and lower regulations.
The manufacturing plants impacted by the decision are located in Lordstown, Ohio; the Detroit-Hamtramck plant; a plant in Ontario, Canada; Baltimore, Maryland; and Warren, Michigan.
Some of the plants could reopen next year depending on contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers.
Investors responded positively to the news with company shares rising by about 5 percent to their highest level since July. The United Auto Workers responded by the move by saying it won’t go unchallenged. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed deep disappointment and promised to help workers get back on their feet.
“This callous decision by GM to reduce or cease operations in American plants, while opening or increasing production in Mexico and China plants for sales to American consumers, is, in its implementation, profoundly damaging to our American workforce,” UAW Vice President Terry Dittes said in a statement.
“These decisions are a slap in the face to the memory and recall of that historical American made bailout.”