General Motors is planning to close its West Chester Twp. processing center, moving that work to Michigan, said Brian Martin, president of United Auto Workers Local 696, the union which represents hourly workers at the facility.
The closure will be effective September 2019, Martin said.
“They will allow those people to follow the work, because the work is not going away, it’s just moving to Burton, Mich.,” Martin said.
Martin was not certain if GM had filed a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) notice with the state of Ohio about its plans for the facility.
Nothing about the Meridian Way facility appeared on the Ohio WARN notice site Thursday.
“There are about 240 union or hourly employees here,” Martin said Thursday. “At some point, they will come out with a package. They haven’t done that yet.”
Negotiations about the plans are happening now, he said.
The West Chester facility has about 300 people, counting both union and management.
“The positive is, we didn’t lose the work,” Martin said. “We just have to follow it. The negative is, it’s four hours away.”
A message was left with a GM spokeswoman Thursday morning.
News broke Wednesday that GM will offer some 18,000 North-American salaried workers buy-outs. Lay-offs appear to be possible if the company doesn’t see enough buy-out participants.
GM is also a co-owner in the DMAX diesel truck engine plant in Moraine, a plant which has about 800 workers. GM owns 60 percent and Isuzu Diesel Services of America, Inc. owns 40 percent of the DMAX Joint Venture.
We’re following up with GM to see if any area workers are being offered buy-outs.
On Wednesday, GM reported a 25 percent increase in pre-tax profit in the third quarter of 2018, seeing net income of $2.5 billion.
Revenue increased 6.4 percent to $35.8 billion during the quarter, the company reported. The automaker said third-quarter global profit margins also reached 8.8 percent, including 10.2 percent in North America.
General Motors first invested in West Chester in 2000 when the company constructed a 384,000 square foot building at 8752 Jacquemin Drive. For this investment, General Motors received an enterprise zone agreement, which has since expired, according to township officials.
In 2008, General Motors leased additional, separate space at 9287 Meridian Way in West Chester to conduct a completely different aspect of their operations.
Township officials told this news outlet that while General Motors’ announcement to close the Meridian Way facility is disappointing, GM will have a continued presence in West Chester at 8752 Jacquemin Drive, southwest Ohio’s only GM production facility.