UAW strike vs. GM upends DC politics; Democrats see a presidential campaign...

UAW strike vs. GM upends DC politics; Democrats see a presidential campaign opening; govt. shutdown looms

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General Motors Co. (GM) CEO MARY BARRA meets with Democratic lawmakers from Michigan at Capitol Hill after GM’s announcement that they would lay off 15,000 workers and close 5 auto plants, December 6, 2018, (Photo ©2018 Doug Christian)
General Motors CEO Mary Barra met with Democratic lawmakers from Michigan on Capitol Hill on Dec. 6, 2018, after GM’s announcement that the company would lay off 15,000 workers and close five auto plants. (Photo ©2018 Doug Christian/TMN)

ON THE HILL WITH DOUG CHRISTIAN

(AUDIO: 49:25 Trump touting car manufacturing “made in the USA”

CAPITOL HILL – That was President Donald Trump at the 2019 State of the Union, emphasizing a key promise of his candidacy – strong growth in automobile manufacturing and no plant closings. Despite his promises, General Motors (GM) is closing five plants in North America this year, throwing 14,000 people out of work.

Now, 49,000 members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) have walked off GM’s factory floors at midnight as contract talks stall. The UAW demands higher wages, reopening of closed plants, better health care coverage, and a smaller pay-gap between new hires and veteran workers.

Terry Dittes, a union vice president, declared: “Today, we stand strong and say with one voice, we are standing up for our members and for the fundamental rights of working-class people in this nation.”

GM’s management says they predict a slowdown despite the 2017 corporate tax cuts.

Democrats, seeing a vast gap between Trump’s guarantees and results, are piling on GM’s assertions, tweeting support for the UAW. In response to the UAW’s tweet:

Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden tweeted a response:

Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris of California tweeted:

Looking forward, a government shutdown looms as senators strive to negotiate a spending bill.

Doug Christian, Capitol Hill

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