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White House

Trump Blames GM Plant Closure on Union Dues

We can't make this up, what is he talking about?

Brian Young's picture
Mar 21, 2019

Trump’s continuing war on unions brought him to Lima Ohio on Wednesday. During his speech at the last tank manufacturer in the United States, Trump started to give his two cents about why General Motors (GM) decided to close their Lordstown Ohio plant.

After spending some time telling GM to sell the plant so that it could be reopened by another company, Trump decided to start attacking union leaders. He continued his attack on the local UAW union leader Dave Green saying that the UAW wasn’t working hard enough to keep the plant open. Trump then turned his attention to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

But I just left the guy. He’s hugging me, kissing me, telling him what an unbelievable deal. Nobody else could do it. And the next day, he’s on there talking about stuff. And I really said, ‘I sort of don’t want to meet these guys. I want to deal with the people in the union, not the heads of the union.’ Because the heads of the union are not honest people. They’re not honest, and they ought to lower your dues, by the way. They ought to stop with the dues. They — you’re paying too much dues.

After attacking these leaders, Trump made one of the most puzzling claims he has ever made. When he said “As an example, they could’ve kept General Motors. They could’ve kept it in that gorgeous plant at Lordstown. They could’ve kept it. Lower your dues. Lower your dues.”

Trump appears to be saying that if UAW members just paid less in dues, GM would have been able to keep the plant open. This idea is especially baffling since union dues are not paid by the company, but by the members, so lower dues would have had no effect on the profitability of the plant. Folks, we can’t make this stuff up. Watch for yourself at the 35-minute mark.


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