Los Angeles — Amid the mounting controversy over a new factory that opened in Los Angeles last month, the real truth about the fate of one of the city’s most beloved auto parts suppliers, General Motors, has been revealed.
In an explosive new report by The Los Angeles Times, the city councilman who represents the area where the plant is located on the city outskirts said the plant was being run with “absolute disregard for the health and safety of the residents of the Los Angeles County region.”
The Times report says the company did not provide adequate inspections and safety training for employees at the plant and that the company was unable to prove its plants were safe for the public.
In a statement released Wednesday, Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) said he “deeply believes that the allegations are true” and said that the councilman’s allegations were “deep and troubling.”
The city’s mayor, Eric Garcetti, has also issued a statement saying that he was “very concerned” about the allegations, and said he had instructed his chief of staff to immediately investigate.
Gatto also said he wants to find out “how many times” the company has failed to meet minimum safety standards at its plants in L.A. and Ventura counties.
He said the company also has “made a decision to discontinue the work” at the factory.
He did not identify the company or its owner, but said the decision was “made based on information obtained from numerous sources, including multiple sources in the media.”
“While this is a sad day for our community, it is a reminder of the need to have a strong safety culture in all of our workplaces,” Gatto said.
“In this case, we have learned that General Motors was failing to follow the safety requirements of the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
I am very concerned about this decision, and we will work to ensure that it is reversed.”
Gatto has been critical of GM’s safety record in the past.
In 2016, he said the automaker had not met the minimum safety requirements to keep jobs in the state and that it had repeatedly violated safety laws.
Last month, Gatto and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetz both called for an investigation into the plant’s operation.
Garcetti told reporters the plant “is a disgrace to the city and the region” and that he is “extremely concerned about the safety of our workers.”
Garcetti also said that he has ordered a task force to look into the “lack of oversight” at General Motors in the region and that his administration would also be working with local labor leaders to make sure that local workers receive “safe working conditions.”
“This investigation will include a review of the safety record of General Motors and our region and we intend to cooperate fully with that effort,” Garcetti said.
He also said the city would be “very open” to the company providing information about “how this has affected the people of the county and the communities we serve.”
GM’s plant in Glendale opened in April 2017.
The company is one of two GM plants in the Los Angles region that are being built in the future.
The other plant, in nearby Long Beach, is slated to open in 2019.
The Glendale plant is slated for about 600 new jobs and will employ 1,000 workers.
The Ventura plant is planned to employ 600 new workers and will have 1,200.
The LA Times report, however, says that “there are no plans to expand” at either plant.
In addition to Gatto, the Times found that GM has not provided “adequate inspection and safety” training to employees at both sites.
A GM spokesperson said that company employees were given “safety briefings” on a regular basis, but did not address Gatto’s allegations.
The Times said that in 2017, the company failed to provide employees with “an annual safety report” and also failed to “provide an annual inspection report to workers at its factory in Ventura County.”
In 2016 and 2017, GM also failed several safety inspections at the Ventura factory and also did not meet the minimum standards for safety inspections in the city of Los Angeles.
In December, the Los Feliz County Sheriff’s Office arrested former GM workers on federal charges that included theft of $50 million in funds to fund a personal injury settlement.
In June, a federal judge ruled that a jury in Los Felis could hear testimony about the wrongful dismissal lawsuit brought against GM.
A trial is set to begin in October.
The trial is expected to begin later this year.
The Los Felises city council, which was the site of a 2014 GM factory fire that killed 12 people, voted in March to prohibit GM from hiring anyone who had been involved in that incident.
The city of Ventura and Glendale also voted to prohibit the company from hiring any employees who were involved in the fire.
In April, the Ventura County District Attorney announced that his office would be prosecuting an employee who was allegedly responsible for the