With Biden In Toledo, Lordstown Auto Workers Denounce Josh Mandel For Opposition To Auto Rescue

Like Romney, Santorum, Josh Mandel Would Have Voted To Let Auto Industry Die, Risking Nearly 850,000 Ohio Jobs

YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO – Today Ohio Democrats and Lordstown Auto Workers held a press conference to denounce “Treasurer” Josh Mandel for his opposition to the auto rescue championed by Senator Sherrod Brown that saved the American automobile industry from collapse.

From Mahoning Valley Democratic Party Headquarters, Mahoning County Democratic Party Executive Vice Chair Ken Carano, State Senator Joe Schiavoni (D-Canfield), State Representative Ron Gerberry (D-Youngstown), State Representative Bob Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Elizabeth Williams, a worker at GM’s Lordstown auto plant who joined Senator Brown at this year’s State of the Union, decried Josh Mandel for opposing critical investments that saved the auto industry with nearly 850,000 Ohio jobs in the balance.

Below are excerpts from their prepared remarks:

“We still don’t know which Republican presidential hopeful will appear on the Ohio ballot this November, but our Super Tuesday primary made one thing totally clear – by nominating Josh Mandel in the race to take on Senator Sherrod Brown, Ohio Republicans have ensured that the top TWO Republicans leading their ticket here in Ohio are folks that opposed critical investments championed by Senator Sherrod Brown that saved the American automobile industry from collapse,” said Representative Ron Gerberry. “Like Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, Josh Mandel would have voted to let the auto industry die, putting nearly 850,000 good, middle class jobs tied to the industry in jeopardy.”

Senator Joe Schiavoni pointed to GM’s Lordstown plant, which builds the best-selling Chevy Cruze, as evidence that the auto rescue was an inarguable success.

“Three years ago, facing the looming threat of bankruptcy, GM was forced to cut shifts down to one. Thanks to the auto rescue Senator Brown championed, the plant has more than doubled its workforce, from 2,000 to 4,500 workers, working three shifts around the clock to keep up with demand for the best-selling Chevy Cruze that’s built right here in the Mahoning Valley,” he said, adding that, “It’s a testament to the fine workers here, the product that they build and folks like Senator Brown who stood and fought to save good, middle class jobs that GM has reclaimed its title as the world’s best-selling auto manufacturer.”

Elizabeth Williams, a single mother of two who has worked at GM since 1994, spoke personally about being laid off when GM and Chrysler faced the possibility of bankruptcy.

“To politicians like Josh Mandel, I was a statistic, a political pawn used to score cheap political points against Democrats like Senator Brown who were fighting to save our jobs when it wasn’t popular. Josh Mandel would have voted to let the auto industry die, leaving workers like myself with nowhere to turn,” Williams said. “Senator Sherrod Brown chose a different path. He fought – to save GM and Chrysler, help them to reopen plants and put people like myself back to work building great American cars.”

Williams continued, “Today, I am thrilled to be back at work for General Motors building the best-selling Chevy Cruze and I am thankful for champions like Senator Brown who care about our jobs and our industry, and had our backs when we needed it the most.”

Williams attended this year’s State of the Union speech in Washington D.C. as a guest of Senator Brown.

BACKGROUND

Almost 850,000 Jobs In Ohio Are Supported By The Auto Industry.  According to the Center for Automotive Research, there are 848,304 jobs in Ohio supported by the auto industry.  [Center for Automotive Research - Industry Contribution Report, April 2010, pg. 48]

Mandel Said He Was Developing A Plan To Save The Auto Rescue.  The Youngstown Vindicator reported “Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, said he is developing a plan to ‘rescue the auto industry.’” [Youngstown Vindicator, 3/2/12]

  • Mandel: “I’m Not Saying The Bailout Didn’t Work.”  The Youngstown Vindicator reported “‘I’m not saying the bailout didn’t work,’ Mandel said.” [Youngstown Vindicator, 3/2/12]
  • Next Sentence: Mandel Disagreed That Auto Rescue Save The Auto Industry.  The Youngstown Vindicator reported “But Mandel said he ‘respectfully disagreed’ that it saved the American auto industry.” [Youngstown Vindicator, 3/2/12]

Since 2009 Lordstown Plant Has More Than Doubled Their Workforce In Order To Keep Up With Demand.  In 2009 General Motors reduced the shifts at the Lordstown Auto Plant from three shifts to one when auto sales plummeted.  Today the plant staffs 4,500 employees, up from 2,000, working three shifts around the clock to keep up with the demand of the Chevy Cruze.  [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 08/31/11; Cleveland Plain Dealer, 02/23/10]

September 2011: The Chevy Cruze Built In Ohio Was The #1 Selling Compact Car in America For Five Straight Months And Was The Top Selling Car Of Any Size In June 2011.  In September 2011, the Plain Dealer reported “Most of the workers at General Motors’ Lordstown plant had never worked on a best-selling car until this year.  The Chevrolet Cruze has been the No. 1 compact car in the country for the past five months. It was the top-selling car of any size in June.” [Plain Dealer, 9/7/11]

January 2012:  General Motors Becomes Top-Selling Global Automaker For First Time Since 2008.  In January 2012, the Associated Press reported “General Motors Co. has retaken the title of world’s top-selling automaker, selling just over 9 million cars and trucks across the globe.  The company said Thursday that it sold 9.03 million vehicles worldwide last year, up 7.6 percent from 2010. That’s more than 1 million better than Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp., which took the title away from GM in 2008.” [Associated Press, 1/19/12]

Speak Your Mind

*

Paid for and authorized by the Ohio Democratic Party, not authorized by any federal candidate or campaign committee. Chris Redfern, Chairman, 340 East Fulton St, Columbus, Ohio 43215.