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Lawmakers appeal to GM chairman

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Gazette staff
May 2, 2008
— Federal lawmakers who represent workers at the troubled General Motors assembly plant in Janesville have asked the automaker’s top official for assurances about the plant’s future.

Earlier this week, GM said it will eliminate one production shift at the Janesville plant starting in July, a move that could eliminate at least 750 positions.


GM cited rising fuel prices and sluggish sales of the full-size sport utility vehicles built in Janesville.


In a Thursday letter to GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner, Sen. Russ Feingold, Sen. Herb Kohl and Rep. Paul Ryan said government, community organizations and employers must work together to help workers affected by the layoff.


The lawmakers said the Janesville plant and its workers “have proven their commitment to GM and the Janesville community for generations and remain committed to supporting GM’s future success.”


Locals have been commended for their productivity, and the Janesville plant celebrated the production of its 16 millionth vehicle in 2005, they said.


“We ask that you give every consideration to maintaining GM’s presence in Janesville, as well as taking future steps to ensure the continued success of the Janesville plant, including considering the assignment of new production models at the plant,” the lawmakers wrote.



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