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Letter to Richard Wagoner, Chairman & CEO of General Motors Corporation, Re: Closing of Janesville Plant


Location: Washington, DC


Following the announcement by General Motors that it planned to close its Janesville plant by 2010, U.S. Senators Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl and Representative Paul Ryan sent the following letter to General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner asking him to reconsider the decision to close the Janesville GM plant and requesting a meeting to discuss the possible retooling of the plant for different production lines. A copy of the letter is available here:

June 3, 2008

G. Richard Wagoner, Jr.
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
General Motors Corporation
300 Renaissance Center
Detroit, MI 48265

Dear Mr. Wagoner:

We are writing to express our unwavering support for the continuation of operations at the General Motors plant in Janesville, Wisconsin. We are deeply disappointed by GM's announcement that the company will close the plant in 2010. As you know, the GM plant has been a vital part of the Janesville community for generations. The Janesville GM plant has a continued role to play in the future success of GM and we ask that GM reconsider the decision to close the Janesville plant.

On May 1st of this year, we wrote to you asking that GM take future steps to ensure the continued success of the Janesville plant, including considering the assignment of new production models at the plant. We renew that request now. Our letter also expressed strong support for the Janesville workforce and noted the many accomplishments of the Janesville GM employees, including their constant efforts to improve productivity and product quality. Your response, dated May 14th, did not address the assignment of future production models, but did acknowledge the important contributions the Janesville workers have made to GM, noting that, "the Janesville team has worked diligently to improve health and safety performance, quality, reduce costs and run the plant efficiently."

We believe that the Janesville workers would bring the same dedication and effectiveness to a new product line. We recognize that market demand in the automobile industry is changing and that GM intends to adapt to the changing demand to remain a viable company. But rather than closing the Janesville plant, a retooled Janesville GM plant can assist in GM's efforts to adapt to a changing market. The Janesville workforce is first-rate and the Janesville workers have proven their commitment to GM generation after generation. The Janesville GM workers will be strong partners in a retooled Janesville GM plant.

We ask that you reconsider the decision to close the Janesville GM plant and request a meeting with you as soon as possible to discuss GM's plans for the Janesville plant, including the possibility of retooling the plant for different production lines. This announcement by GM will have an enormous effect on Janesville and southern Wisconsin, particularly for the GM workers and their families, related businesses, and the Janesville community at large. We would appreciate your prompt response to our letter.


U.S. Senator Russ Feingold
U.S. Senator Herb Kohl
U.S. Representative Paul Ryan

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