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."

***

Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Steel for Wind Power

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities. 

Siemens Gamesa last month laid off 130 workers at its turbine blade manufacturing plant in Iowa, just months after GE Renewable Energy decided to close an Arkansas factory and eliminate 470 jobs.

The companies reported shrinking demand for their products, even though U.S. consumption of wind energy increases every year.

America’s prosperity depends not only on harnessing this crucial energy source but also ensuring that highly skilled U.S. workers build the components with the cleanest technology available.

Right now, the nation relies on imported steel and turbine components from foreign manufacturers like China while America’s own steel industry—well equipped for this production—struggles because of dumping and other unfair trade practices.

Steel makes up the bulk of turbine hubs and the wind towers themselves. It’s also used to make the cranes and platforms necessary for installing the towers.

Yet the potential boon to America’s steel industry is just one reason to ramp up domestic production of wind energy infrastructure.

American steel production ranks among the cleanest in the world, while China has the highest carbon emissions of any steelmaking nation and flouts environmental regulations.

The nation’s highly-skilled steelmaking workforce must play an essential role in the deeply-needed revitalization and modernization of the nation’s failing infrastructure. Producing the components for harnessing wind energy domestically and cleanly is an important step that will put Americans to work and position the United States to be world leaders in this growing industry.

 

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work