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

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