WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday pressed General Motors (GM) to reconsider its plans to close several factories and cut up to 14,000 jobs, urging it not to follow through on the decision.
After a closed-door meeting with GM CEO Mary Barra, Ohio Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown told reporters that they asked the auto giant to either move production from Mexico to Ohio or build electric vehicles there.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the GM CEO is meeting privately with several lawmakers representing regions that will be hit hard by the layoff plans.
The Detroit-based auto company announced last week that it would effectively close five plants in Ohio, Maryland, Michigan and Canada's Ontario in 2019, drawing harsh criticism from politicians and the general public.
"We are very disappointed by the decision," Portman said, adding that workers in Lordstown, Ohio, "have done their part" during the past five decades. Portman also slammed the company for benefiting from the tax cut law and failing to reinvest back into the community.
Barra, for her part, pledged to do whatever she could to relocate Lordstown workers to other plants in Ohio or the broader region, but she also insisted that the move was necessary to keep the company competitive.
Portman said he also talked on Wednesday with President Donald Trump, who is "very committed" to helping them to keep the assembly plant in Lordstown.
GM's decision had particularly angered the U.S. president, who had threatened to revoke government subsidies for the company. "The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get!" the president tweeted last week.
GM's plan to idle five plants is part of its restructuring, which will cut salaried workforce by 15 percent and reportedly save the company 6 billion U.S. dollars.