Many machinists and other American workers have fallen on hard times in the past year and are looking for a way to make up ground during this election.
Independent labor voice and former International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (Machinists) General President Tom Buffenbarger joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss machinists jobs, how the newly shaped Supreme Court could destroy union healthcare benefits and more.
Disappearing Machinists jobs
Buffenbarger said President Trump has caused many Machinists members to lose their jobs. He cited the closure of a Harley Davidson plant and others that have moved to Mexico and elsewhere.
Harley Davidson and the others that fled the country called out the tariffs imposed by President Trump as the reason for closing shop. Buffenbarger added that voters need to realize President Trump does not even make his own products in the United States.
Healthcare, COVID-19 and SCOTUS
Buffenbarger said that President Trump is ignoring the COVID-19 pandemic and acting like it is all over, despite current spikes throughout the country. He said Joe Biden would attack it head on and develop a substantial plan to recover.
Shifting to the new Supreme Court Justice, who was rammed through one week before an election, he said Amy Coney Barrett would vote to strip healthcare and make it more expensive for the more than 100 million Americans living with pre-existing conditions.
This would diminish the health insurance unions have attained for their members, saying they would now have to spend more time and resources fighting for coverage of pre-existing conditions.
Companies abandoning workers
Buffenbarger then spoke about Boeing and how they have prioritized moving and cutting wages of workers. Citing their move from Washington to South Carolina, he said Boeing has stuck it to the taxpayers and their workforce in Washington who provided tax dollars to build facilities there, only to leave for South Carolina where they will employ a cheaper, non-union workforce.
He added that Southwest, the largest user of Boeing jets, has signaled a move towards European Airbus jets. Although Airbus has an Alabama production facility, it is a non-union plant.
Another company leaving their workers behind is JCPenny. The executives filed for bankruptcy, closed locations and laid off parts of their workforce. Despite this, the executive got millions of dollars from the bankruptcy court.