The thousands of American workers laid off and in the process of being laid off by multinational corporation General Motors (GM) were effectively ignored at the State of the Union (SOTU), as the fight to save their jobs has had little interest among the political elite.
While President Trump highlighted what he called the “catastrophe” of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that has eliminated close to five million manufacturing jobs and increased trade deficits by 600 percent, there was no specific mention of the at least 4,000 white-collar American workers in Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, Georgia, and Texas who are currently being laid off by GM.
The local United Auto Workers (UAW) union presidents of Lordstown, Ohio and Warren, Michigan both attended the SOTU but went largely unnoticed by the establishment media, as guests including left-wing activists and illegal aliens soaked up much attention.
UAW President Gary Jones said in a statement before the president’s speech that he hoped Trump would mention the GM layoffs where the corporation is laying off of 14,700 workers in North America — including at least 3,300 American factory workers — while increasing production in Mexico and China.
If there is hope for finding common ground in Washington let it be progress for the workers in Lordstown, Detroit and Baltimore and all over this Nation who have watched their job hopes disappear into the great profit abyss of Wall Street. Wages for autoworkers have had a twenty five percent pay cut in recent decades. This must change. [Emphasis added]
Let us restore the American worker as a priority in the laws, trade agreements and the underlying values we cherish. Our challenge is to restore the American Dream. Because American workers have invested in America and now they look to Washington to invest in US! [Emphasis added]
Likewise, the GM layoffs went unnoticed in the Democrat response by failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Only a vague statement about shuttering factories was mentioned by Abrams.
This year, GM is stopping production at four American plants, including Detroit-Hamtramck and Warren Transmission in Michigan, Lordstown Assembly in Ohio, and Baltimore Operations in Maryland. This comes after GM laid off about 1,500 American workers in Lordstown in 2018, while their Mexico production remained unaffected.
American workers in finance and technical jobs at GM are also having their jobs cut back in Texas and Georgia, according to insiders.
Lordstown, Ohio UAW chapter president Dave Green told the Washington Examiner‘s Salena Zito he would have considered it “the ultimate win for our cause” if Trump had mentioned the GM layoffs in his SOTU address.
Instead of reading headlines the following morning that Trump had given the American GM workers a shout out in his speech, U.S. workers woke up to the news that about 1,300 American workers will be laid off at GM’s Warren Tech Center in Warren, Michigan, alone.
“Let go on Monday from [Warren Tech Center],” one worker posted online at a GM layoff message board. “20 minutes in a room with HR and the director and separation agreement signed, severance agreement in-hand.”
— John Binder 👽 (@JxhnBinder) February 6, 2019
While GM lays off thousands of American workers, its production in Mexico and China is ramping up. Specifically, GM is looking to manufacture an electric Cadillac in China and continue manufacturing its Envision compact vehicle in China.
The made-in-Mexico Chevrolet Blazer will soon arrive in U.S. markets. Last year, GM became the largest automaker in Mexico, as it has cut jobs in America and increased production to Mexico.
Offshoring production from the U.S. to Mexico has proven cheaper for GM executives, as American workers earn $30 an hour while Mexican workers earn about $3 an hour, a 90 percent cut to wages that widens the corporation’s profit margins.
Despite the layoffs, GM’s CEO Mary Barra has continued raking in about $22 million a year.
The UAW is urging American consumers to boycott GM vehicles that are manufactured in Mexico, noting that such products’ Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) begin with the number “3.”
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.