So This Is How General Motors Repays Decades of Hard Work?

Cathalijne Adams

Cathalijne Adams Researcher, AAM

More than 14,000 jobs in North America will be eliminated should General Motors proceed with its plans to idle plants in Lordstown, Ohio; Detroit and Warren, Mich.; and White Marsh, Md. Doing so would abandon the workers who have served the company so well and the communities that depend on the economic benefit of the plants’ valuable manufacturing jobs.

But these jobs can be saved!

During a recent appearance on C-SPAN, Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul stressed that GM can elect to bring production of its more in-demand vehicles to the idled plants if it wishes to honor its workers’ loyalty.

“The company ought to be investing in [workers],” Paul said. “It seems like GM is putting the interest of its shareholders way far ahead of its stakeholders, and its communities and its workers. And there has to be a little more balance to that.”

Following a meeting with GM CEO Mary Barra, Ohio Sens. Rob Portman (R) and Sherrod Brown (D) both urged GM to act on opportunities to bring new production to the plants.

“Just as the workforce has stood with General Motors over the years, we expect GM to stand with these workers — and give them a chance,” Portman said.

 Considering long-term solutions to GM’s problems and those of similar companies, Paul highlighted the need for corporate boards to attend to their workers as well as their shareholders.

“Our companies are just so driven by quarterly earnings that they lose sight of what makes them sustainable over the long run. So, as you saw with GM, they announced 15,000 job cuts -- their stock price goes up, and there’s something very perverse about the incentives that are built into that system. I’m not saying that we throw it out, but I think there are ways to mitigate that.”

In an opinion piece for The Hill, Gary Jones, president of the United Automobile Workers, which has formally challenged GM’s plans, indicts the company’s greed.

“GM’s decision is a slap in the face to the U.S. autoworker. It’s a statement that their trust, loyalty and years of dedication aren’t as important as this year’s profits and shareholder gains and that their sacrifices made during the dark days of GM’s bailout are long forgotten,” Jones writes. 

Jones also calls for politicians to support the men and women whose lives will be devastated by the plant closures.

Before job loss irreparably damages the communities that have been built around GM’s factories, the company should hold faith with their workers and allow them to return to what they do best. 


Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work