Olszewski urges GM not to close White Marsh plant

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. is joining the chorus of politicians pressing General Motors not to close its plant in White Marsh.

In a letter sent to GM CEO Mary Barra on Tuesday, Olszewski urged her to find a different product to build there or another use for the plant. He said the 300 workers at the plant “are among the top performers across the entire company.”


“The facility is both modern and effective, and I know these hard-working men and women remain committed to achieving high performance standards,” Olszewski wrote.

A source said the plant being shuttered in Canada is just the beginning as GM prepares for the next downturn, shifting trade agreements and potential tariffs on imports.

Olszewski also noted that the county’s workforce development staff has already met with GM officials to collaborate on finding new jobs for the workers if the plant indeed closes.

Baltimore County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins, whose district includes the plant, previously wrote to Olszewski, Gov. Larry Hogan and federal officials, urging them to work together to help the affected workers and find a new use for the plant.

Earlier this month, Barra met privately with members of Maryland’s Congressional delegation, who urged her to reconsider the company’s decision to close the plant and also to return $115.5 million in government grants that went to the White Marsh facility.

Members of Maryland's congressional delegation have asked General Motors Co. to reconsider its decision to end operations at its White Marsh plant and — at the least — to return more than $100 million in grant money it received for the plant. Delegation members met privately with GM CEO Mary Barra.

GM officials announced in late November that they may close five plants, including White Marsh, as part of a massive restructuring plan.

The White Marsh plant opened in 2000, with an addition for electric motors that opened in 2012.

Last year, the plant’s workers were paid a total of $33.1 million in wages and paid about $7.3 million in income taxes, according to GM.