DETROIT – The UAW released a new video, “Hometowns,” about the union’s fight in negotiations to stop plant closures that have devastated communities across the Midwest. The video features 2017 footage of Donald Trump falsely promising autoworkers in Ohio he would save their jobs. The ex-president is holding a rally today at a non-union factory in Metro Detroit.
The video can be accessed at this link, and the media is invited to use the footage.
The Big Three have closed or spun off 65 auto plants over the last 20 years. “Hometowns” shows the damage those closings have caused and focuses on two UAW contract proposals that would keep auto plants open:
- The right to strike over plant closures, a right UAW members have never had but have now won at Ford.
- The Working Family Protection Program, which would ensure that automakers trying to close a plant must pay UAW members to keep working.
“Hometowns” mentions recent closures at all three companies, but looks most closely at the personal toll of General Motors’ shuttering of the Lordstown Assembly Plant in 2019.
UAW Region 2B Director David Green followed his father into GM Lordstown and felt he had “hit the lottery” when he got the job. But Green was president of the local union as GM shut the plant and saw the ripple effects that ravaged the local economy. Dustin Rose, a former Lordstown worker who grew up near the plant, saw friends and family scatter when it closed and went through a divorce when he had to transfer to a GM facility in Western New York.
GM, Ford and Stellantis have all been highly profitable for more than a decade, but they continue to close plants. The Big Three made a quarter-trillion dollars in North American profits over the last ten years. They made $21 billion in total profits in the first six months of this year.
The UAW has said record profits should mean record contracts and put its Members’ Demands on the table back in mid-July. All three automakers took more than a month to make their economic counterproposals and have so far failed to reach fair agreements.
The UAW launched its historic Stand Up Strike against all three automakers when the contracts expired on Sept. 14, and 18,600 UAW members are now on strike at 41 Big Three facilities in 21 states. Click here for a full list and map of the facilities on strike.