President Trump has Noticed the Lordstown Closure

Matthew McMullan

Matthew McMullan Communications Manager, Alliance for American Manufacturing

The General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio closed a few weeks ago. This has put a lot of American autoworkers out of a job, and – should the plant remain shuttered – it’ll have a serious effect on economy in northeast Ohio no matter what President Trump tweets about it.

And oh, was he tweeting about it in the last 24 hours. To be fair, he also tweeted about the Mueller investigation, and did some light scaremongering about MS-13, but on Sunday the president clearly had Lordstown on his mind.

This is, after all, an issue near and dear to his heart. He was elected in states like Ohio largely on his promises to bring manufacturing jobs back, and he often got very specific about it. In Youngstown (just up the road from Lordstown) during the 2016 presidential campaign, he basically promised to save local industry:

So … it doesn’t look very good when a major employer ignores your browbeating from the bully pulpit and makes a business decision based on cold, hard economics. That’s how GM has framed this decision all along; it says the North American market isn’t calling for sedans anymore, and that made the Lordstown plant (home of the Cruze) expendable.

But it’s not like the writing wasn’t on the wall. GM has been laying off Lordstown shifts for some time now, and the local United Autoworkers president had appealed directly to President Trump to intervene more than once.

He didn’t get a response, though, until he criticized President Trump's inaction on a television show he’s known to watch, and then the president called him a "Democrat" and told him to "stop complaining."

That’s more or less how it went down after Trump made a big show out of saving jobs at a Carrier furnace factory in Indianapolis. He inflated the number of jobs retained, got called out on it by another local union president, and insulted that guy on Twitter, too.

Lost in this very presidential sniping, though, are the plights of the autoworkers in Lordstown, who have few options now that their jobs are gone. Moving to another GM plant in another town is one, and it might be their best alternative. That local UAW president put it like this to Reuters:

"If you don’t want a job flipping burgers for minimum wage, you got to get the hell out of here."

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Reposted from 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