Port Councils around the United States joined with their sisters and brothers from the MTD-affiliated Communications Workers of America (CWA) to stand up for union workers at the GE-Savant plant in Bucyrus, OH, who are at risk of being outsourced.
Early in February, GE-Savant announced it would transfer the manufacture of LED lightbulbs to China. More than 80 workers, who are members of the CWA’s IUE Industrial Division, could be laid off. The lightbulbs they produce carry the Walmart brand with the words “assembled in the USA.” The Ohio facility is one of the only residential lighting factories remaining in the country.
Through the AFL-CIO, the CWA launched a petition drive in February calling on GE-Savant and Walmart to keep these jobs in the United States.
Port Councils from San Juan to Honolulu signed the document and urged their affiliates to do the same.
However, the officers of the Toledo Port Maritime Council went the extra mile – they participated in informational pickets in sub-freezing temperatures holding “Bye America” signs in front of Walmarts in northwestern Ohio.
“These people are an active bunch,” said PMC President John Clemons. “They are not just talking, they are taking action to help our brothers and sisters.”
Clemons and PMC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Erika White have walked with fellow trade unionists outside stores in Rossford and Oregon, OH. Additional informational pickets occurred across the country on February 20.