U.S. President Donald Trump called on General Motors Co. to begin talks with the United Automobile Workers union, pushing the automaker to either reopen its assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, or sell the facility to a company that will do so.
In a series of tweets that began March 16, Trump railed against GM's decision to close the plant, which led to some job losses.
"General Motors and the UAW are going to start 'talks' in September/October. Why wait. Start them now! I want jobs to stay in the U.S.A.," Trump tweeted on March 18. The president added that he wants the plant in Lordstown "in one of the best economies in our history, opened or sold to a company who will open it up fast!"
GM said in an emailed statement to S&P Global Market Intelligence: "To be clear, under the terms of the UAW-GM National Agreement, the ultimate future of the unallocated plants will be resolved between GM and the UAW."
The automaker said its "main focus remains on our employees and offering them jobs in our plants where we have growth opportunities."
The company said it has placed over 1,000 employees from "unallocated plants" in other GM locations and has "opportunities available" for "virtually" all impacted employees.
GM ended production at its Lordstown site March 6, two days ahead of schedule, as part of its cost-cutting plan to save about $6 billion. The UAW sued the Detroit-based carmaker for the decision, claiming that the company breached their agreement that said it will not close, idle, sell, spin off or dispose of any plant.
On March 17 Trump called out UAW Local 1112 President David Green on Twitter, telling him "to get his act together" and "stop complaining." The U.S. president said "better car companies" than GM are entering the country "in droves."
Trump later tweeted that day that he spoke with GM CEO Mary Barra about the facility in Ohio. "I asked her to sell it or do something quickly. She blamed the UAW Union — 'I don't care, I just want it open!'" the president exclaimed.