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‘We didn’t bail out GM so it could hoard profits, close plants’

DETROIT (Nov. 27, 2018) — The following is a statement from UAW Vice President Terry Dittes:


Hello brothers and sisters,

I’m holding in my hand the 2015 master contract between GM and the UAW. Our membership in the UAW and General Motors ratified this agreement and the one in 2011. And it wasn’t without sacrifice because our membership gave away many things, both during the bankruptcy proceedings, 2011 and 2015.

But today our reward today is General Motors announcing the closing of the Lordstown, Ohio plant and the Detroit Hamtramck plant. No more product will be built there. And that, in fact, will affect other GM locations in Michigan and in Maryland. And this decision today has the potential to affect 35,000 workers. UAW members and suppliers. And economically devastate the areas where these locations are operating today.

We’ve all seen what’s happened over the years when a big manufacturing plant leaves an area. It affects the families, the workers. It affects the local businesses, the grocery stores. It takes away the tax revenue.

General Motors continues to be profitable. Very profitable. We expect them to make over $10 billion net profit this year alone.

But they forget the taxpayers, our membership, the communities, the politicians all came to them in their darkest day. There was no jobs with a bankrupt General Motors. But this is how we in America are repaid by the closing of two big facilities. But we did not bail General Motors out so we could watch them hoard profits, shutdown plants and devastate communities and take advantage of low wage workers in Mexico or wherever they see.

This should be a tipping point for all of us. It’s time to tell General Motors they need to build product where they sell product. Because there is no job that’s safe in this country anymore when a profitable company like General Motors, can quickly just shut down and make a decision in boardroom that it’s going to end with no backlash from the American public.

We need to tell them, we need to tell them clearly that we want our products made here because this is where you sell them.

And we call on GM today just as they called on all of us over a decade ago:

Please save our American jobs.

ALSO today:

► In the Detroit Free Press — GM workers say they had ‘no warning’ of closure — As word spread Monday that GM is closing assembly plants, including Detroit-Hamtramck, its roughly 1,500 workers were at home on Thanksgiving break — watching the news roll in like everybody else. “You tell the world before you tell us,” said line worker Dnitra Landon, pulled over in her 2017 Buick Encore before she clocked into the Hamtramck plant Tuesday morning. “The world don’t come in here every morning at 6 o’clock to work for you, so how come we don’t get to know before the world?”

► In the Washington Post — GM layoffs are another victory for capital over labor(by Christopher Ingraham) — The combination of unemployed workers and happy investors underscores a key point about the modern American economy: What’s good for corporate profits isn’t necessarily good for workers. In fact, and perhaps now more than ever, the interests of a company’s workers and shareholders are directly at odds. It wasn’t always this way.

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