Recently, General Motors announced it would be laying off around 15,000 workers across North America and completely closing five plants, including four in the United States. That flies in the face of President Donald Trump’s repeated, incessant promises to salvage the American manufacturing industry for good — and this week on CNN, a Trump voter and former GM worker had tough words for the president over his response to the issue.
After explaining some of the predicament that her own family has found itself in thanks to the layoffs, the longtime and only recently retired GM employee Carmela Denno responded to a comment from the president just this week that his administration had found a “magic wand” to save American manufacturing — a take he offered after the grim announcement from General Motors at a campaign rally in Mississippi.
‘I find it offensive. We are the magic wand. We are the people that kept GM here all that time. We are a caring community; we are a good workforce. I feel we kept GM here — not any president.’
Trump has claimed, contrary to the comment Denno offered on CNN, that he brings salvation for American industry on plenty of other occasions.
At a Michigan campaign rally during his original bid for the presidency that was held not far from a GM plant poised to shed some 1,500 jobs, the then-candidate asserted:
‘If I’m elected, you won’t lose one plant, you’ll have plants coming into this country, you’re going to have jobs again, you won’t lose one plant. I promise you. I promise you.’
He’s built much of the core of his political platform around that very concept, promising to elevate the “forgotten” people of the United States in positions like Denno’s, and although she didn’t use the term, she seems to feel quite forgotten by President Trump and his political machine.
Still, Trump has kept at his rhetoric anyway. More recently than his 2016 campaign remarks, he asserted that manufacturing jobs are “all coming back” at an Ohio event just 20 minutes away from a GM plant set to close and leave 1,600 people figuring out what’s next. The Lordstown, Ohio, GM plant has been in place for over 50 years at this point, but is for now set to cease operations next spring.
The shifts in GM’s workforce come as the company repositions itself for the modern market, which continues to shift away from traditional automobiles and towards alternatives like pickup trucks and advanced tech like electric and even self-driving cars. As part of the shift, many to all of the laid off workers will be presented with alternative employment options from GM, but it would be a stretch to suggest all or even the majority of the around 15,000 will be able to uproot their lives and go to wherever the new job might be.
As it turns out, the airy rhetoric from President Trump promising to support these people was just that — rhetoric — and they’ve been left out in the cold yet again.
Featured Image via screenshot from the video