FILE PHOTO: A view of the entrance to the West Plant at the General Motors Lordstown Complex, assembly plant in Warren, Ohio, U.S., November 26, 2018. REUTERS/Alan Freed
(Reuters) – General Motors Co said on Monday it expects to end production of the Chevrolet Cruze at its Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant on Wednesday, the first of five plants it is idling this year in North America.
A GM spokesman said the company is “ahead of the production schedule” and added that production had been scheduled to end Friday “but now it looks like it will finish up Cruze production on Wednesday.”
Last week, the United Auto Workers union sued GM over its decision to end production and eliminate thousands of jobs U.S. auto plants, saying it violated a 2015 collective bargaining agreement.
The UAW has asked a federal judge to order GM to rescind its November decision to close three plants in Michigan, Ohio and Maryland, and award damages to employees for losses from what the UAW calls GM’s breach of contract.
GM said last week that its decisions to halt production “do not violate the provisions of the UAW-GM National Agreement. We continue to work with the UAW on solutions to our business challenges.”
GM said in November it was cutting up to 15,000 jobs and ending production at five plants in North America, including one in Canada. Last month, GM said it extended production at its Detroit Hamtramck plant until January 2020, after earlier saying it planned to discontinue production in June.
The job cuts have angered U.S. President Donald Trump, who has demanded GM find a replacement product for its Lordstown plant and threatened to cut GM subsidies.
The UAW said GM will end production at its White Marsh plant in Maryland on May 3 and at its Warren Transmission plant in Michigan on Aug. 1. GM’s Oshawa assembly plant in Canada’s Ontario province is set to end production by the end of the year.
Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by James Dalgleish