The Ripple Effect of Job Losses in a Community

Jesús Espinoza

Jesús Espinoza Press Secretary, AAM

Last week, GM's announcement that it will cut more than 14,000 jobs and close seven factories dominated national headlines. This move carries heavy and broad economic consequences for the regions it impacts. But we can’t forget about the human costs: suddenly without jobs, workers will have to cope with financial uncertainty that strains families and communities alike.

GM’s decision is yet another example of how some inconsiderate corporate boards take workers and the communities for granted. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) couldn’t be clearer in calling out this lack of respect:

“The workers at Lordstown are the best at what they do, and it’s clear once again that GM doesn’t respect them. Ohio taxpayers rescued GM, and it’s shameful that the company is now abandoning the Mahoning Valley and laying off workers right before the holidays. Even worse, the company reaped a massive tax break from last year’s GOP tax bill and failed to invest that money in American jobs, choosing to build its Blazer in Mexico.”

Despite taxpayer dollars rescuing GM and tax cuts helping the company further, their way to say “thanks” seems to be to pack up and go, leaving behind an economic catastrophe for impacted communities to clean up for themselves. To add insult to injury, a report shows the company didn’t even have the decency to warn employees of the closures ahead of time.

Our own Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, was also clear in pointing out GM’s flippant disregard for the communities that have contributed so much to the company:

“The layoffs are the inevitable outcome of an economic model that views workers as disposable and shareholder excitement as indispensable. These GM workers, their families and communities now face grim futures. When General Motors asked hard-working men and women to make sacrifices a decade ago, they did, and with the help of the Obama Administration, brought the company back to life. Blame won’t bring these jobs back. If the President and Congress are serious about supporting factory work, they’ll quickly find a way to avert these devastating layoffs.”

As journalist and author Amy Goldstein noted in The Washington Post, these job losses will ripple through the heart of the local economy. Without income and security, workers and families won’t be able to spend on clothes, restaurants, recreation and much more. GM isn’t only undermining workers and families, but entire regional economies.

As we stand in solidarity with the GM workers who have lost their livelihoods, we can’t forget that corporate decisions in faraway places leave deep scars in unsuspecting communities. The communities that house factories give so much to these facilities. Not only do workers in these communities deserve gratitude, we must hold companies who take them for granted accountable.

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Reposted from the AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Human Service Workers at Persad Center Vote to Join the USW

From the USW

Workers at Persad Center, a human service organization that serves the LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS communities of the Pittsburgh area, voted last week to join the United Steelworkers (USW) union.

The unit of 24 workers, ranging from therapists and program coordinators to case managers and administrative staff, announced their union campaign as the Persad Staff Union last month and filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

“We care about our work and the communities we serve,” said Johanna Smith, Persad’s Development, Communications, and Events Associate. “We strongly believe this work and our connections to our clients will only improve now that we will be represented by a union.”

The Persad workers join the growing number of white-collar professionals organizing with the USW, especially in the Pittsburgh region. Their membership is also in line with the recent work the Steelworkers have been doing to engage LGBTQ+ members and improve contract language regarding issues that affect their lives.

“Workplaces are changing and evolving, and the labor movement is changing and evolving along with that,” said USW Vice President Fred Redmond, who oversees the union’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee as well as the USW Health Care Workers Council. “This campaign gives us an opportunity to diversify our great union while uplifting and empowering a group of workers who give their all for others.”

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work