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Friday, February 17, 2017

The factory Trump saved

General Electric shed its chemical plant in Watertown, New York, a decade ago. Hedge funds bought it and renamed it Momentive Performance Materials, which meant the glory days were over. 700 workers went on strike last November rather than take a round of cuts in benefits.

After President Trump picked as his jobs czar billionaire Stephen Schwarzman, anti-Trump forces thought they had Trump cornered. Schwarzman's hedge fund until recently owned part of Momentive.

Democrats organized a rally at Schwarzman's home in Manhattan to embarrass him.

But the protest never happened.

From the New York Times:
“We used that angle — he’s one of the richest men in the country, has been appointed by Mr. Trump as the so-called jobs czar,” said Darryl Houshower, vice president of the local. “We were pressuring him, hoping he would put some pressure on the company.”
Whatever happened behind the scenes, they got the result they wanted. The day before the protest was originally planned this month, the company backed off a number of key demands. The workers ratified a new contract several days later.
The episode is just one sign of the sudden shifts buffeting the labor movement. Some unions, even if traditionally Democratic, have aims that align with Mr. Trump’s stated priorities: building infrastructure, rewriting trade agreements, blocking an exodus of jobs. But union leaders are in many cases scrambling to get in step with members who responded to his pro-worker rhetoric — and to tap into that energy.
Mr. Houshower’s local is affiliated with the Communications Workers of America, one of the unions most outspoken in calling Mr. Trump to account since the election. But while he voted for Hillary Clinton, he estimates that some 30 percent to 40 percent of his more than 600 members voted for Mr. Trump.
“I think some of the things the president was saying during his campaign, you know, looking to make better jobs in America, bring work back to America, kind of pulled on the strings of the average worker,” Mr. Houshower said. “A lot of guys felt that he was the man to do the job.
Welcome to Re-Elect Trump 2020.

He has this sneaky plan to get another four-year term: Serve all the country, even the people who did not vote for you.

Democrats are worried by his initial success at bringing manufacturing jobs home.

This was a big deal. Democrats saw this as a showdown.

On February 6, Politico reported:
WATERFORD — An early test is taking shape for President Donald Trump here at a chemical plant on the banks of the Hudson River: Will he weigh in for the striking workers who helped vote him into office, or the executives who seem to have his ear?
The Republican president may have provided a clue Friday, when he huddled with a collection of CEOs at the White House in an advisory council chaired by Steve Schwarzman, head of the private equity giant Blackstone. At the very same time, dozens of workers picketed in a freezing wind outside the Momentive Performance Materials plant for the ninety-fourth consecutive day. They talked about the latest round of givebacks demanded by the hedge fund managers who bought the plant when General Electric spun it off in 2006.
The New York Daily News reported on February 9:
Many of the strikers said they voted for President Trump off his campaign promise to make America great again. Some called on him to intervene.
“Trump promised to help America, to get us good jobs. Well here we are, fighting for our good jobs,” striker Carmine Cervini, 61, told The News last week.
Workers’ hopes of the President intervening faded when it was revealed that the man Trump tapped as his jobs czar, private equity billionaire Stephen Schwarzman, had until recently been a part owner of the Momentive plant.  
Trump passed the test.

And 700 chemical workers are back on the job.


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  1. There's nothing better than common sense and having a respectable conversation as part of the process. In business, Trump's common sense approach has outmaneuvered the previously dumocrat leaning unions and presented them with practical solutions that they and the management arena can both function in. This has obviously flummoxed the dumocrats and caused a rash of inventive slurs for Trump - which is what all dumocrat arguments seem to boil over to - name calling. Watch the headlines - Trump is crazy, Trump is looney, Trump is (fill in nonsense here). They're even trying to find something in the 25th amendment now to hang on him. They work harder at vilifying Trump than they do at understanding what he has done dor the country.

  2. The MSM is proving its insanity by doing exactly the same thing over and over again, and yet expecting a different outcome.

    1. Giving us another few reasons to distrust them.

  3. I went to get my car worked on today wearing a MAGA hat. I live in a university town where trump is hated and called Hitler even more than Bush was.
    The mechanics complimented me on my hat. I went into the lounge. MSNBC was on, no surprise. I walked up and turned it off. Silence.
    When my car was done something I've never had happen before: instead of just telling me where I could get my car the guy who worked on it asked if I'd like for him to drive it around front.
    These guys know the score even if the snide professors they have to cater to don't.

  4. I don't get this post. I heard about the strike ending on a local Albany, NY radio station the other day (Waterford is nearby) and while the strike ended the only thing the strikers won was keeping the company's pension contribution. Twenty five strikers were fired for violations of labor laws during the strike (picket line violations from what I could gather). So how is this a test passed by the President?