GM, Mary Barra, Bloomberg discussed on Politics, Policy, Power and Law
Valley they laid off three thousand workers already. This would next year. Be another fifteen hundred workers Ryan being is Bloomberg news transportation reporter, he joins us. Now from our Bloomberg ninety nine to one studios in Washington DC and Ryan have the senators convinced Mary Barra to change your mind, doesn't look like it so far Peter you did the senators are really obviously pushing for some clarity from Mary Barra on what can be done with that. Client, can you put another car in obviously, the they want that. But you know after talking with them. Yesterday. And some of the folks from the house who met with Mary Barra. It was pretty clear that she made no such commitment. And she really stressed that look, you know, the fate of the plant and the other plants that are now going to be a WB quote unallocated. Meaning there won't have a product to build next year. The fate of those facilities will sort of hinge on the outcome of talks with the UAW that are going to start up next fall. And what what what I'm sorry one more thing. And what what senators Brown and Portland really wanted to stress was that they wanted GM and the UAW to sort of speed up those talks to at least give workers some certainty about what's going to happen instead of prolong this uncertain period. So then is it all about certainty or is it about being able to put them back to work there? Because it seems like no matter what concessions the union makes if there's nothing to produce. There's no work. No, absolutely. Obviously the goal for the senators the UAW in the workers in the communities there that are affected by this is obviously to keep the jobs there and to keep or to put some new product there, and it's totally unclear right now whether GM will be able to do that. But there is some historical precedent for that happening. GM idled a their plant in spring hill, Tennessee, the former Saturn plant started in the early nineteen nineties they idled in two thousand nine as part of the bankruptcy when they cancelled the Saturn brand. So that plant laid fallow for the next few years, and then in two thousand twelve they started a production again, the resume production building a an SUV for the Chevrolet brand. So it's it's not unprecedented. It could happen. But. GM's meet certainly making no indication that it's likely or that will be easy. How much of this is being driven by the markets by the by the auto markets themselves, and how much is being driven by public policy in policy. And I'm thinking here about potential auto terrorists at GM actually took made a point of trying to make clear that it wasn't due to tariffs. Apparently. I think there was a. My memory's a little hazy. But I seem to recall the president even saying that in a conversation with Mary Barra. She indicated that it was not due to the steel aluminum tariffs that it was in fact, just due to the shifting trends in the auto marketplace. I mean, basically light trucks SUV's crossovers are seeing a continual sales rises, meanwhile, traditional sedan and passenger car sales are plummeting all of the plants that are affected by these closures assemble a sedan of some form, the the key Lordstown plant in the swing state of Ohio bills the Chevrolet Cruze, compact, car, Detroit, Hamtramck builds the Chevy volt plug in hybrid and the Impala, and I think a Buick sedan as well. So these cuts are clearly targeting underperforming, car car lines. These plants have already seen production, reduced shifts eliminated. They're operating below. Hello the capacity utilization rate needed for them to be operated profitably. So GM has that been making clear that this is primarily due to market forces. Then what are we what would we be watching for next at wet the to see whether or not the company in the unions can get together and jump start these talks. Exactly, exactly. I mean, typically these these contract negotiations happen once every four to five years. They you. There are there's a lot of back and forth in which you know, the union may agree to some form of concessions in exchange for a commitment of product allocation at a plant to maintain jobs. That's certainly going to be a key part of the discussions. Okay. All right. Thanks, Brian bean. Bloomberg news transportation reporter. Thank you. Let's get a check of the world latest world and national headlines.