WI legislators rally for Janesville GM plant - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

WI legislators rally for Janesville GM plant

WASHINGTON (WKOW)-- Wisconsin's U.S. Senators and Representatives pull together to rally GM to produce new line in Janesville.

General Motors has agreed to build a compact car at one of its idled plants, but hasn't announced which one.   In a letter sent yesterday to GM President and CEO Frederick Henderson, the Wisconsin legislators expressed their strong support for the new product line to be placed at the Janesville GM Plant.

The text of the letter is below:

May 28, 2009

Frederick A. Henderson, President and Chief Executive Officer

General Motors Corporation

300 Renaissance Center

Detroit, MI  48265

Dear Mr. Henderson:

As General Motors works to revise its restructuring plan, we write to express our strong support for the Janesville GM plant and ask that you give full and fair consideration to supporting a restructuring plan that includes a new product commitment at the GM plant in Janesville, Wisconsin.  We have been informed that as part of its restructuring plan, GM will commit to manufacturing a compact car at a facility within the United States rather than manufacturing this type of vehicle in a foreign country.  The combination of a dedicated workforce, strong community support, and an aggressive state and local incentive package to help encourage GM to place a new product line at the Janesville plant all make the Janesville plant an ideal location for this new product line. 

Last year, GM ceased production at the Janesville plant, a decision that affected thousands of workers employed at the Janesville plant as well as the supply companies and other businesses that supported the plant.  In response to GM's decision to cease production at the plant, key stakeholders in the Janesville community including the local UAW, business leaders, and representatives from local and state government came together to develop an aggressive incentive package with the goal of encouraging GM to assign new work to the Janesville plant.  A key component of that incentive package was the commitments made by UAW Local 95 to help make the Janesville plant more competitive and Local 95's work on this incentive package demonstrates the strong collaborative work environment that continues to exist in Janesville.  It is our understanding that GM is still considering the incentive package presented by the Janesville community and has yet to inform the local community of its final decision regarding the future of the Janesville plant.  As you make decisions on the Janesville incentive package and where to locate future product lines over the coming days, we encourage you to strongly consider all that the Janesville plant and community have to offer to a restructured GM. 

The southern part of Wisconsin has been particularly hard hit by the difficulties in the U.S. auto industry over the past several months.  GM's announcement that it would cease production at the Janesville assembly plant and Chrysler's recent announcement that its engine plant in Kenosha will close in 2010 are difficult challenges facing the southern Wisconsin region.  The placement of a new product line at the Janesville GM plant would help the region respond to some of these challenges and help GM grow into a viable, competitive company in the future.  The work that has gone on at the state and local level in Janesville complements the work that the GM and the Obama Administration have undertaken over the past few months to make the company more efficient and responsive to consumer demands and we ask that you give every consideration to placing the new product line in Janesville. 

Thank you for your consideration of this request and we look forward to your prompt response.

Sincerely,

Russell D. Feingold, U.S. Senator

Herb Kohl, U.S. Senator

Paul Ryan, Member of Congress

Tammy Baldwin, Member of Congress

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