Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten Joins Michigan and Ohio Leaders to Support GM Workers

For Release: 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018


Oriana Korin

WASHINGTON—In response to the news that General Motors will restructure five factories in North America and cut roughly 14,000 jobs, including thousands in Ohio and Michigan, AFT President Randi Weingarten said:

“This is a devastating blow to working families in Michigan and Ohio. Idling these plants doesn’t just affect the people who work in them, it thwarts the economic engine of their entire communities. When a large employer shuts down, mothers, fathers, firefighters, teachers and small business owners across the area are harmed too, by the effects of the draconian job loss in that community.

“It didn’t have to be this way. This mess is a direct result of a toxic combination of corporate greed and a right-wing political agenda that protects CEOs at the expense of the rest of us. As employees on the factory floor are getting laid off, GM executives are profiting handily from stock buybacks this year. President Trump visited these towns promising to restore jobs and prosperity, and his corporate tax cut was another promise to create and sustain jobs, not destroy them. He has broken his promise yet again. 

“The educators, nurses and public employees in these cities and towns stand with their brothers and sisters at GM and are ready to fight back alongside the elected leaders who understand the devastation this will bring to their communities.”

AFT Michigan President David Hecker said: “This is a far cry from the comeback we were promised. The working people of Michigan get up and go to work every day to put dinner on the table and save a little money for retirement, but they’re being sabotaged by a president who’s more concerned with protecting his corporate cronies with tax breaks. And GM isn’t much better: Closing operations at Michigan’s Detroit-Hamtramck and Warren plants is a cruel and callous insult to the workforce that’s bailed out this company and the entire community that’s supported them.”

Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper said: “Many of our students in Lordstown, Ohio, have parents who work at GM, and we pride ourselves on educating and training the next generation of working people across the state. The effects of this closure will be felt in homes and businesses across the area, too many of which have yet to recover fully from the Great Recession. We’ve made the investment in our workforce, but Donald Trump and his CEO friends refuse to meet us halfway.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.