News Story

After getting $824M in state aid, GM to cut 900 jobs at Orion Assembly

GM CEO claimed investment would not have been possible, except for corporate welfare

General Motors Corp. will lay off 900 workers from Orion Assembly in January 2024.

The company received roughly $824 million in corporate welfare from Michigan lawmakers less than two years ago, in January 2022. Taxpayers spent $600 million to create 4,000 jobs, up to $158 million for renewable energy projects (as the factory would build electric vehicles), and $66.1 million in site readiness.

“The Michigan Economic Development Corporation also authorized a State Education Tax abatement to be used in conjunction with the locally approved Orion Township abatement in support of the GM expansion,” the state announced at the time.

Orion Township threw in property tax abatements.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined GM CEO Mary Barra in the announcement, touting the good-paying jobs the plant would create.

"GM's $7 billion investment in Michigan — the largest in their history — will create and retain 5,000 good-paying jobs and enable us to build on our legacy as the place that put the world on wheels," Whitmer said at the time.

"When it comes to investing in Michigan, GM and I have the same philosophy: 'Everybody In.' Michigan's future is bright, and I will continue working with anyone to make transformational investments in our economy, create good-paying jobs, and empower working families."

Barra runs the no. 21 company on the Fortune 500 list. But in her public statement, she said the Orion investment would not have been possible if not for corporate welfare.

"These important investments would not have been possible without the strong support from the governor, Michigan Legislature, Orion Township, the City of Lansing, Delta Township,” Barra said, before mentioning the United Auto Workers union.

UAW officials spoke of the General Motors investment as one that would “benefit families for decades to come.”

Two years later, 911 Orion Township factory workers will start the year in need of work.

Read the General Motors WARN Notice for yourself

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.