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.
-Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-2)