‘He said jobs were coming back’: the Trump voters who feel cheated

The Guardian – By Dominic Rushe/New York – Sunday Nov 04, 2018

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Photo: President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence wave as they visit a Carrier factory in December 2016, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP.

Donald Trump won the votes of many in middle America in 2016 by promising to bring back manufacturing jobs to the US.

This week he faces the first big electoral test of his presidency as voters head to the polls for the midterm elections. While he is not on the ballot, Trump has been campaigning across the US to maintain Republican control of Congress.

But so-called “offshoring” of US factories continues. According to a report by Good Jobs Nation the outsourcing of US jobs by federal contractors rose to the highest annual level on record in Trump’s first year in office with federal contractors sending 10,269 American jobs abroad, almost triple the 3,801 in the last year of the Obama administration.

The union-backed Good Jobs Nation has been sending workers to Trump rallies to pressure the president to keep his promise of stopping offshoring on “day one” of his presidency. The Guardian caught up with two of those workers.

Tommy Wolikow, 36, Lordstown, Ohio

“I worked at the GM [General Motors] plant for nine years. And I was laid off January 20, 2017, the same day that President Trump was inaugurated. When I got hired at GM I thought I’d be set for life. My father had 42 years there. A lot of those jobs went to Mexico.

In July I went to a Trump rally in Youngstown. It really gave us hope. I had never been that political but I heard what he said and I took him at his word. It was like he was directly looking at you. I was a Trump supporter. He said jobs were coming back, don’t sell your house.

It’s been two years now since his election and all I see is more job losses. I went back to school, I’m a qualified diesel technician, I got my Class A [commercial] driver’s license. I did what you are supposed to do. The jobs that are out there in my area are all low-paying. I can’t raise my three daughters on those wages. People are picking up and leaving.

My fiancee [who worked at GM and was laid off] and I were making $50 an hour. Now she’s making $4.15 an hour plus tips as a waitress at Cracker Barrel. I have credit card debts, I don’t know how I’ll get out of this hole. I had a boat, a motorcycle – I had all the luxuries of a good-paying job, now I don’t have any of that.

I keep applying for jobs but nothing is coming up. I keep hanging on to hope. We are hard workers. We don’t want a handout, we want a hand up. I am going to be voting this election 100%. I still have some things to work out. But come ballot time my vote is going to the person who supports the voting man. Every day that goes by that I don’t see anything happening it looks more like he lied.”

Susan Cropper, 57, Gas City, Indiana

“I spent 30 years working for United Technologies [UT]. We made control panels for heating and air units that were sent to the Carrier plant in Indianapolis [owned by UT]. President Trump went on national news and talked about saving their jobs [after UT said it would move jobs to Mexico]. We knew we were getting closed down but we kinda hoped he would be able to save some of our jobs too. He was talking about bringing jobs back. There was a glimmer of hope. It didn’t work out that way.

I voted for President Trump. I believed we needed a change. There had been so much corruption. All of them making all these promises and then not following through. I wanted to believe in Mr Trump.

jobs offshore and we are giving them our tax dollars. Why should we give them money when they take away good, tax-paying jobs that support our families? We put him in office.

I’ve been unemployed since March. I have put out so many résumés. I have interviewed. Once you hit 50, you are not as employable. Most of the jobs out there don’t support you. They want you to give everything for $9 an hour and no benefits, I believe I am worth more than that. I was making $17.36 and benefits before.

My children are out on their own, I don’t know how I’d make it through if I had to worry about supporting a child. I could live in my car, I suppose. I don’t want to. These politicians don’t understand the devastation of not having money coming in. I was used to be working a lot of overtime. Now I am out of money. Now I have credit card debt. I have to look at food banks and those kind of options. When you have worked for 35 years and these are your options, it’s troubling.

I have already voted and I voted Democratic [Cropper said she usually voted Republican and did vote for some Republicans lower down the ballot]. The local level is not the issue, it’s at the White House level. Politicians have forgotten who we are and what we need. They have so much money, their pockets are lined by corporations.”

Read entire article here

PS The President doesn’t control the creation of manufacturing jobs. The real reason there are no longer as many jobs is automation or the replacement of workers by machines and soon to be robots. Also, the mega corporations are sending jobs over sea’s or bringing in workers from other countries such as the Philppines who will work under minimum wage. There are many small companies who hire just undocumented workers and somehow these companies have been existing ever since the ending of Unions. We need to stop hiring undocumented workers. Isn’t it against the law to hire undocumented workers? We need a strong minimum wage to stop the hiring of undocumented workers for a start!

Posted by Teri Perticone

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