The head of the UAW local in Lordstown, OH, has sent another letter to President Donald Trump as the struggle over General Motors’ efforts to reduce the scope of its manufacturing base continues to escalate.
In his letter to Trump, David Green, president of UAW Local 1112 in Lordstown where 2,400 hourly workers are facing either imminent layoff or transfer, often reluctantly, to other GM plants in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee, decries GM’s actions and warns of the “devastation” created by corporate outsourcing practices.
“I am reaching out to you again in regards to the many working families, businesses and communities in Northeast Ohio,” Green wrote. “My previous letter dated July 6, 2018 (after GM eliminated one shift at Lordstown) has yet to receive a response. Since that time, General Motors has announced its plans for ‘unallocated’ production of the Chevy Cruze in Lordstown, Ohio, on March 8, 2019. This will have an impact on over 40,000 jobs in the state of Ohio.
“While this may not seem that important to you, it will have a devastating impact on many families, businesses and communities, especially here in the Mahoning Valley – a place that I call home,” wrote Green, who will be the guest of Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio at Trump’s State of the Union address tonight.
“I am looking forward to your remarks on the issues stated in this letter. I am also hopeful that corporations will be held accountable for their actions, and that workers and their communities receive the same respect as profits. I look forward to your response and encourage you to look at the devastation outsourcing has had and will continue to have in America.”
Ghana Goodwin-Dye, president of UAW Local 909 in Warren, MI, who represents workers at another plant targeted by GM, also has been invited to the State of the Union address.
The White House did not respond to Wards request for comment on Green’s July letter. It said it would need a request for comment on his latest letter in writing, which Wards provided.
Green’s letter continues to keep the spotlight on GM’s plans to shutter five plants in the U.S. and one in Canada.
Last month, Green, along with a handful of members from Local 1112, participated in a demonstration outside the North American International Auto Show in which he called for a boycott of any GM product made in Mexico. The protest was sparked by GM’s decision to build the Chevrolet Blazer in Mexico, rather than at a U.S. plant.
GM has countered the call for a boycott by pointing out that many of the components used in its Mexico-built vehicles, including the Blazer, are made in the U.S. by UAW members.
The UAW, which for years has been accused of being too soft on companies when plants are shut, hasn’t backed off. Instead, the union’s leadership has turned up the rhetorical heat on GM. It helped organize the demonstration outside Detroit’s Cobo Center, which originally was called by the activist Autoworkers Caravan, which has often been critical of UAW leadership.
In a YouTube video, the UAW accuses GM of deliberately ramping up production in Mexico to satisfy the “greed” of wealthy shareholders. GM’s production in Mexico is expected to climb 32% between 2018 and 2020 compared with Ford’s 7% increase.
“GM now has a choice: It can invest in America, or it can turn its back on American workers and American families,” UAW President Gary Jones (above, left) says in a statement that is certain to echo through the union’s upcoming contract negotiations with GM.
Meanwhile, GM failed to block what it described as a misleading advertisement by Unifor, the union representing Canadian auto workers, that aired on the Canadian broadcast of the Super Bowl. The spot, which accused the automaker of greed and of ignoring commitments made to the union and Canada, wasn’t seen in the U.S. GM denies the allegations.