Press Release from the Tennessee Democratic Party, Nov. 21, 2011:
GM’s Spring Hill, Tenn. Auto Plant Revival Thanks to President Obama, Auto Workers
NASHVILLE – In response to General Motors’ announcement Monday at Spring Hill attended by Governor Bill Haslam, Sen. Bob Corker and Rep. Scott DesJarlais, Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester released the following statement:
“General Motors’ expansion in Spring Hill is great news for Tennesseans and a huge credit is owed to the United Auto Workers, who made the deal that got this plant fully reopened. Over the coming months, we will see more than 1,700 new GM jobs and countless jobs created through the parts supply chain. This announcement boosts Tennessee’s economy and strengthens our communities.
“But this announcement would not be possible without President Obama’s successful loan to the auto industry, which gave automakers a pathway to profitability and saved hundreds of thousands of American jobs.
“It’s upsetting that some politicians said Spring Hill auto workers weren’t worth the time and fixing the American auto industry wasn’t worth the money, but today’s announcement shows the President’s investment paid off.
“What’s more upsetting is that some politicians are taking credit for these new jobs when they’ve opposed similar investments or sat silent when these deals were negotiated. If politicians like Sen. Corker, Rep. DesJarlais and Gov. Haslam’s friend Mitt Romney had been in charge, there would be no American auto industry and Spring Hill would be a ghost town.
“Industry experts have been clear: our auto companies would have faced liquidation under the extreme right-wing plan and more than 1 million Americans would have lost their jobs permanently.
“If not for the auto industry investment, no amount of tax breaks or credits would have brought General Motors or Chrysler back from the brink of ruin. If not for that investment, these new Spring Hill jobs would not be possible.
“This announcement is a perfect reminder of how crucial investments in our infrastructure, our schools and our workforce are for creating a robust economy that works to grow opportunity for working and middle class Tennesseans.”
Auto Workers’ Deal with GM Reopened Spring Hill Plant. “The basis that we went into the agreement with was jobs, jobs, jobs, and I think that is what we came out of this agreement with,” UAW Vice President Joe Ashton said at a news conference revealing details of the GM deal. Since emerging from bankruptcy with a $50 billion federal aid package two years ago, GM has added thousands of jobs in the U.S., and the new agreement could open up another 6,400 slots. The automaker is promising to launch new products at plants in Spring Hill, Tenn., the former home of its now-abandoned Saturn division, as well as at factories in Michigan and Missouri.” [MSNBC, 9/21/11]
FLASHBACK: Republicans Bob Corker, Lamar Alexander, Marsha Blackburn Applaud Jobs From GM Loan They Opposed. [Washington Monthly, 9/20/11]
Reality: The Auto Industry Intervention Saved Over A Million Jobs
The Center For Automotive Research: The Auto Industry Intervention Saved 1.14 Million Jobs In 2009 And 314,400 Jobs In 2010. [Wall Street Journal, 11/17/10]
TNR’s Jonathan Cohn: Analysts And Scholars Believe That If GM Closed Its Door, More Than 100,000 People Would Be Out Of Work. [Jonathan Cohn, The New Republic, 12/3/08]
The Big Three Auto Companies Re-Hired 55,000 Workers Since Exiting Bankruptcy And Posted An Operating Profit In The First Quarter Of 2010. [BusinessWeek, 7/30/10]
WP: A Year And Half After The Auto Bailout, “Many Of The Critics Have Retreated From Their Sharpest Attacks As They Watch The Auto Industry Once Again Turn A Profit And Begin Adding Jobs.” “The government’s bailout of the American auto industry last year sparked political hand-wringing about the end of capitalism and allegations that President Obama aspired to be CEO of what critics dubbed ‘Government Motors.’ … But a year and a half later, many of the critics have retreated from their sharpest attacks as they watch the auto industry once again turn a profit and begin adding jobs in communities such as Detroit, which desperately need them.” [Washington Post, 7/31/10]