Ohio Dems, Labor Leaders Stand With Ohio Workers After Trump Attack

LIMA / CANTON — The Ohio Democratic Party hosted “We Stand With Ohio Workers” events in Lima and Canton Wednesday morning to stand in solidarity with labor leaders and hard-working Ohioans after President Donald Trump this weekend launched an attack on those fighting to save thousands of Ohio jobs.

“Thousands of hard-working Ohioans are dealing with the shuttering of the GM Lordstown plant. It’s horrible to think they’re being attacked at this heartbreaking moment,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “The decision to shutter the Lordstown plant belongs to General Motors and General Motors alone. Blaming the workers and their elected representatives is just wrong. We’ve seen tough times in Ohio. But we are strong. We are resilient. We don’t give up, and we don’t attack one another. If the president thinks he can divide Ohioans, he is wrong. We are united.”

Trump is scheduled to visit Ohio Wednesday afternoon for a factory tour in Lima and a high-dollar fundraiser at the Brookside Country Club. Less than 50 miles from the country club is the General Motors factory in Lordstown, which saw the last Chevy Cruze roll off the assembly line on March 6. This weekend Trump took to Twitter to attack the workers and their elected representatives.

“President Trump has broken promise after promise to Ohio’s workers and especially to the auto workers at GM Lordstown assembly,” said retired GM employee Chuckie Dennison, who went through three plant closings in his career, including Lordstown. “Nearly five thousand jobs have been lost there since he became president and Trump has taken no real action. Why is he at a fancy fundraiser today and not in Lordstown meeting with laid off workers?”

“When GM was in dire straits after the recession it was Northeast Ohio taxpayers and American taxpayers who bailed them out to the tune of $50 billion. The community did the right thing. Now we need GM to do the right thing — to repay the favor, put people over profit, and retrofit the Lordstown plant,” said American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. “The hedge funds that own GM stock are doing the wrong thing — the AFT and Hedge Clippers revealed this week they’ve forced GM shell out over $25 billion in stock buybacks and dividends, which is five times as much as GM will save from closing Lordstown and Hamtramck. The President is also doing the wrong thing. He knows he hasn’t kept his promises to Ohio workers, many of who voted for him. So instead, he’s lashing out at unions on Twitter. But while he stands with donors, we are standing with workers.”

“For months, the community of Lordstown, including local UAW president Dave Green and local Lordstown Teachers Association President Alyssa Brookbank have been working to keep the GM plant open and to make sure that the families and children who are impacted are being supported. Yet this weekend, President Trump wants to point fingers and play a blame game,” said Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper. “The truth of the matter is, his tax cuts incentivize corporations like GM to put money into buybacks and dividends instead of into innovation and investments that would keep the plant open and people employed.”

Facebook livestream of the news conference in Canton:

AFT President Randi Weingarten, center at podium, stands alongside former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, center right, and Ohio workers in Canton Wednesday morning.


U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, center at podium, rallies with hard-working Ohioans in Canton Wednesday.


Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper, center at podium, was joined by Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper, far left, and a group of Ohio workers in Lima Wednesday morning.


Tweets from the events: