Slaughter says Hundreds of New Jobs at GM is Testament to WNY’s Workforce and A Return on Taxpayer Investment in GM

April 2010

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-28) congratulated the Tonawanda General Motors plant, which announced the production of new V-6 and V-8 engines. The new production should help protect an estimated 326 jobs at the Tonawanda plant and creates another 350 new project-related jobs. Today Slaughter called the announcement proof that Western New York has the best workers and evidence that taxpayers are receiving a return on their investment in GM.

“If I were GM I would invest in Tonawanda’s Powertrain plant too,” said Slaughter. “Today’s announcement of hundreds of jobs coming to Western New York reaffirms what we all have known for years, we have the best workers. When Western New Yorkers buy a GM vehicle with an Ecotec engine, it won’t just be made the USA, it’ll be made in Tonawanda.”

Slaughter voted in December 2008 to grant GM a $6.7 billion bailout package. On Wednesday, GM announced that they had paid back their federal loan with interest and 5 years ahead of schedule.

“I know we as federal legislators took some heat for voting to bail out General Motors, but I knew we weren’t just helping GM, I was helping Tonawanda,” said Slaughter. “America invested in GM and as hundreds of new jobs come to Western New York, we’re seeing a return on that investment.”

Slaughter, who represents the City and Town of Tonawanda, was in Washington today and was represented at the announcement by a senior member of her Buffalo staff, who frequently works with GM.

Earlier this year GM’s Powertrain plant in Tonawanda learned that GM pledged to invest $425 million to upgrade the facility to produce the next generation fuel-efficient, four-cylinder Ecotec engine. Slaughter was on hand as GM’s announcement made it possible for 470 workers that were let go in the past to come back to the plant.

In December 2008, Congress debated the auto bailout which was signed by President Obama later that month. As Slaughter debated the rule on the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act she said,

“Of all the industries that contribute to our economy, the automobile industry is one of the largest and yet it has been hit particularly hard during our recent economic downturn. The U.S. automobile industry is one of the largest sectors of our economy. Auto companies directly or indirectly support over four million American jobs, and provide nearly one million retirees with pensions and health care benefits. In Western New York alone the auto industry supports over 12,000 workers, and 13,000 retirees.”

GM Tonawanda Powertrain is one of the largest engine plants in the world.

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