Latest Solidarity Issue

UAW statement on Paul Ryan's speech at Republican National Convention: He's no friend to working people

08/30/12

DETROIT - Last night Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan attacked President Obama for closing the General Motors plant in Janesville, ignoring the fact that the plant closed during George W. Bush's tenure.

When it was announced that the plant would close, a task force was empanelled to try to save the plant. Co-chaired by former-UAW Local 95 President Brad Dutcher, the task force included many politicians, among them, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.  Although Ryan participated in the panel and voted for the emergency loans for the auto industry, the plant ultimately closed.

About 1,300 people lost their jobs at GM in Janesville when the plant closed, along with thousands of other workers employed at suppliers and businesses supported by the plant. The plant closing devastated the economy in southern Wisconsin.  The University of Wisconsin-Madison estimates the plant closing cost the local economy $220 million annually.

"When Wisconsin needed him most, Paul Ryan turned his back on us, repeatedly voting against legislation aimed at helping displaced workers," said Ron McInroy, director of UAW Region 4, which covers Wisconsin. "He voted to cut unemployment insurance (UI) and voted against extending UI several times when protection was what Janesville workers needed most."

"Paul Ryan continuously advocates against working people.  A few of the many examples include his recent budget proposal that would change Medicare to cost seniors $6,000 to $8,000 each year, cut taxes for the rich and drastically cut education, OSHA and many other important federal programs," said UAW President Bob King.

"He voted for repealing the Affordable Care Act that provides health insurance to millions of uninsured Americans and improves health insurance benefits for working families. Last month he voted to cut taxes for the rich while raising taxes on the working poor. Romney-Ryan are wrong for America," King added.