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GM CEO Mary Barra meets with Ohio, Maryland officials to defend plant closures

by Justin King

The executive promises 'many' affected employees will be offered opportunities to work at other US plants, while others have been offered 'outplacement services' to help them find new jobs.

General Motors CEO Mary Barra has met with officials and members of Congress from Ohio and Maryland as the company faces increasing backlash over its decision to close four US factories and lay off more than 14,000 workers.

Some critics have focused on GM's decision to restructure and close the plants when its profits are up. Others have pointed out that the US plants are being eliminated after GM has expanded in Mexico, less than a decade after American taxpayers bailed out the bankrupt 'old GM.'

"These were very difficult decisions -- decisions I take very personally," Barra said in a statement following the meetings. "I informed the members that many hourly employees at the impacted US plants will have the opportunity to work at other US GM plants and that we are committed to working with them to minimize the impact on the communities. I also informed them that all salaried GM workers impacted by these actions are being offered outplacement services to help them transition to new jobs."

The company has argued the cuts are necessary to maintain a competitive edge as the market evolves. The affected factories mostly focus on cars that have experienced protracted sales declines as buyers gravitate toward SUVs.

"We stand with the community to get something in this plant and keep thousands of GM jobs," said Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown.