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:
After Months of Tough Negotiations, UAW Vice President Terry Dittes Announces No GM Contract Extension; GM Refuses to Put Hard-Working American Families Before Profits https://t.co/yREg1h1TNO
— UAW (@UAW) September 14, 2019
Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden tweeted a response:
A job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about dignity and respect.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 15, 2019
Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris of California tweeted:
Unions have organized, marched, negotiated, and gone on strike — all to ensure dignity and rights for working people. You don’t have to be a member of a union to benefit from the work of organized labor.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 15, 2019
Looking forward, a government shutdown looms as senators strive to negotiate a spending bill.
Doug Christian, Capitol Hill