YOUNGSTOWN — Ahead of Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Ohio — as another poll shows the Buckeye State is in play — the Ohio Democratic Party hosted a virtual roundtable discussion with Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown, as well as workers and community members impacted by the closing of the General Motors plant in Lordstown.
Tomorrow Pence will be visiting the former GM factory. Here are some quick facts about the Trump administration’s history with GM Lordstown:
On the first day of the Trump administration, GM laid off more than 1,000 workers from their Lordstown plant. GM finally closed the Lordstown plant in March 2019.
Despite Trump’s tough talk against GM, his tax law provided the auto manufacturer with a massive windfall. For 2018, GM received a tax rebate of $104 million on $4.3 billion in income.
Ohio has not replaced those jobs in two minutes. The Buckeye State lost 12,500 jobs from January 2019 to January 2020, which made 2019 the worst year for jobs in Ohio since the Great Recession.
From Chairman David Pepper:
“Tomorrow’s visit by Vice President Mike Pence is too little, too late for the people of the Mahoning Valley. The Trump administration has ignored the workers of GM Lordstown for years, starting with his very first day in office, when GM laid off more than 1,000 workers. The workers of GM Lordstown begged Donald Trump to do something to help them for years — for years. He ignored their pleas. And then when the plant was finally shut down, Donald Trump had the audacity to go on Twitter and blame the workers and their union leaders.
“It remains to be seen if this project will become what has been promised. I hope it does because the last thing the people of the Mahoning Valley need is more broken promises. Donald Trump told Ohioans, ‘don’t move, don’t sell your house.’ But that’s exactly what so many working families had to do.”
From Ben Strickland, former shop chairman of UAW Local 1112:
“The thing with Trump is that he came into the Valley and gave a lot of empty promises to the members, to the people in the community, to get their votes, and then he walks away.
“The thing is there are very few people even working in Lordstown Motors … The truck that they’re going to be unveiling wasn’t even built at Lordstown Motors. It was built somewhere else, and they’re bringing it in here. So it is truly nothing but a photo op.”
“We’re not just looking at GM by itself. We’re looking at the supply chain, those other entities that were affected. We’re just talking about GM today, but their suppliers and their supply chain were also affected. So the economy, the whole ecosystem that we’re having in the Mahoning Valley, was affected and disrupted.”
“The promise was that the Valley was going to rebound, we’re not gonna need to sell our houses and everything was going to be OK here in our area. That definitely did not happen. So, therefore I’m very skeptical about what’s happening. I pray that I’m wrong, that this is not just a photo op.”