GM’s Warren Transmission Plant on Mound Road employs approximately 335 workers, including 265 hourly employees, according to the company’s website.

GM’s Warren Transmission Plant on Mound Road employs approximately 335 workers, including 265 hourly employees, according to the company’s website.

Photo by Brian Louwers


GM’s Warren transmission plant to be ‘unallocated in 2019’

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published November 26, 2018

WARREN — The future of five General Motors Co. plants, including the Warren Transmission Plant on Mound Road, looks bleak after the company announced a series of “proactive steps” to meet market changes.

In a statement quoting GM Chairwoman and CEO Mary Barra Nov. 26, the company outlined plans to leave transmission plants in Warren and White Marsh, Maryland, and assembly plants in Detroit, Ontario and Ohio “unallocated in 2019.”

“The actions we are taking today continue our transformation to be highly agile, resilient and profitable, while giving us the flexibility to invest in the future,” Barra stated in the release. “We recognize the need to stay in front of changing market conditions and customer preferences to position our company for long-term success.”

The Warren plant employs approximately 335 workers, including 265 hourly employees, according to the company’s website. That number was confirmed by Warren Mayor Jim Fouts, who said he spoke with a GM representative on the morning the announcement was made.

“They said they hadn’t decided what they’re going to do, but they have plans to take care of all the properties and to reconfigure it someway or somehow,” Fouts said. “There will be 335 people laid off, but they’re going to offer all of them jobs, and if they don’t want the jobs, they’re going to offer them a buyout retirement.”

While Fouts lamented the loss of jobs at the plant, he said the company had committed to adding employees at the GM Tech Center and at the soon-to-be-relocated Cadillac brand headquarters.

“Overall, we have new jobs and good jobs coming to the city. The sad news is for the 335,” Fouts said.

The 2.1-million-square-foot plant on the east side of Mound Road, north of Nine Mile Road, opened in 1941 and was purchased by GM in 1958. It currently produces six-speed transmissions for the GMC Acadia, Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac XTS, as well as the electric drive units for the Chevy Volt, Malibu Hybrid and Buick Velite.

Hourly workers at the plant are represented by the United Auto Workers Local 909. Local leadership could not be immediately reached for comment, but the UAW issued a blanket statement addressing GM’s announcement. The union vowed that the actions would “not go unchallenged” and pledged to meet them through the legal, contractual and collective bargaining processes.

“GM’s production decisions, in light of employee concessions during the economic downturn and a taxpayer bailout from bankruptcy, puts profits before the working families of this country whose personal sacrifices stood with GM during those dark days,” said Terry Dittes, UAW vice president and director of the union’s GM Department. “These decisions are a slap in the face to the memory and recall of that historical American-made bailout.”

According to GM’s statement, the actions are “expected to significantly increase capacity utilization” by refocusing capital and resources to support the growth of its in-demand products like crossovers, trucks and SUVs. The company referenced the goal of optimizing its product portfolio and predicted that 75 percent of its gross sales volume will come from just five vehicle designs by the early 2020s.