TOLEDO, OHIO – Today in Toledo, auto workers denounced Senate candidate Josh Mandel’s newly-revealed opposition to the auto rescue and his despicable charge that Sen. Sherrod Brown’s vote for the rescue package was “un-American.”
From the United Auto Workers Local 14 Hall, state Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), UAW Region 2B Assistant Director Stephen Kemp, Yolanda Liggons, a 17-year General Motors employee who works at the Toledo Transmission Plant and UAW Local 14 President Ray Wood decried Mandel’s outrageous attack on the cost of the auto rescue when he said that it hadn’t worked and suggested an alternative: that GM and Chrysler could ” go down whatever road they thought was feasible,” during an editorial board meeting with The Columbus Dispatch.
“There’s a reason the Assembly Complex and Transmission plants are thriving today, and it’s because folks like Sen. Sherrod Brown led the charge to rescue the American auto industry, helping to protect thousands of Toledo auto jobs and nearly 850,000 jobs in total across our state,” said UAW Region 2-B Assistant Director Stephen Kemp. “Sherrod’s opponent, Josh Mandel, had no such foresight. Josh Mandel, who has spent month after month refusing to even discuss the auto rescue, has finally shown his true colors. Josh Mandel owes the people of Toledo more than an apology affords, and he owes the people of Ohio an explanation.”
UAW Local 14 President Ray Wood praised Sen. Brown for leading the charge to rescue the auto industry, and highlighted its resurgence in Toledo and across Ohio.
“If Sen. Brown hadn’t fought to secure short-term loans for General Motors and Chrysler, the American automakers would have been devastated. Plant doors would have shuttered closed, the Toledo economy would have been devastated and nearly 850,000 Ohioans whose jobs are tied to the industry could have faced cutbacks or unemployment. But Sherrod Brown did fight, to secure those critical loans, to rescue GM and Chrysler, and now they’re posting soaring profits. The industry is thriving,” said UAW Local 14 President Ray Wood, adding that, “Toledo’s not the only community benefiting from the resurgent American auto industry. Just last week, GM announced that it would invest $220 million into its Lordstown and Parma plants to build the next generation of Chevy Cruze vehicles.”
Yolanda Liggons, a mother, grandmother, and 17-year Auto Worker for General Motors at the Toledo Transmission Plant, discussed being laid off before Sherrod fought to secure critical loans that prevented the American auto industry from collapsing altogether.
“When Chrysler and General Motors were faced with the prospect of bankruptcy, the companies were forced to lay off thousands of longtime employees. Around the same time my husband, who also works for GM, was diagnosed with cancer, I was laid off,” Yolanda Liggons said. “I remember how terrifying it felt, as if it were yesterday. First it felt like a break, and I was happy to be at my husband’s side, but then reality set it and I realized I didn’t know if I’d ever get back to work again. For 2 ½ years, I experienced that every day.”
Liggons added, “So when Josh Mandel says that it was “un-American” to vote for the auto rescue package that Sherrod Brown fought tirelessly for, I have just one question for him: what exactly is un-American about fighting for families like mine? Thanks to champions like Sherrod Brown, who led the charge to rescue the American auto industry, I’m back on the job, and GM and Chrysler are back in business.”
State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) denounced Mandel for his despicable personal attack on Sen. Brown.
“Josh Mandel’s opposition to the auto rescue that helped to protect nearly 850,000 Ohio jobs is an insult to folks here in Toledo and across our state. His blistering attack on the auto industry is out of touch with Ohio’s middle class, and that’s why he’s resorted to a despicable personal attack on Sherrod Brown that has no place in our political discourse,” said state Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo). “Between his despicable ‘un-American’ charge, his ‘lengthy, detailed assault’ on the auto rescue and his months-long refusal to come clean about his opposition to it, it’s clearer than ever before that Josh Mandel is not on the side of Ohio’s middle class and a politician who can’t be trusted.”