A Labor Day Message From GVP Philip J. Gruber

Philip J. Gruber
General Vice President
IAM Midwest Territory

This Labor Day, American workers must stand up for American workers. We must fight to keep good-paying U.S. jobs here at home.

No matter what side of the track you come from, we can all pretty much agree on one thing: the health of the American job market is in critical status.

All across the country, companies – built on the backs of hard-working Americans – are closing their doors and moving good-paying U.S. jobs overseas, where they can exploit workers for cheaper labor and little to no labor standards.

U.S. workers, their families, and communities everywhere are being left devastated.

It’s happening to workers at Harley-Davidson in Kansas City, where the motorcycle-maker – an American icon – plans to close the high-performing plant and spread those jobs amongst its foreign markets in Thailand, India and Brazil.

It’s happening to workers at Electrolux, where the refrigerator-maker’s reputation for outsourcing to China and Mexico precedes its plans to shut down a plant in St. Cloud, MN.

Siemens workers in Burlington, Iowa, Mt. Vernon, Ohio, and Wellsville, NY are waving goodbye to their jobs as the company prepares to hand over production to India and Europe.

The same goes for CTS Corp. workers in Elkhart, IN who are being given pink slips as their jobs move to Mexico.

All of these workers – plus thousands of others like them – will be out of a job by next year.

It’s time to stop the bleeding.

It’s time to forget our differences. Put our political allegiances aside. And fight.

It’s time to rise up.

Rise up like our fellow citizens of Missouri did to protect their jobs and pay when corporations and special interest groups tried to pass Proposition A, a Right-to-Work law aimed at hurting everyday workers. Union and non-union alike.

It starts at the ballot box.

In 2016, then-presidential candidate Trump promised to create more jobs with better wages. Well, judging by the hemorrhaging of U.S. jobs, coupled with the steady increase in poverty wages (jobs that pay less than $15 an hour) while providing tax cuts to the rich, it’s abundantly clear he’s gone back on that promise. In fact, over the course of the last two years, he’s made things worse.

This Labor Day – enjoy your much-deserved holiday – but pledge to fight back. Start at your nearest ballot box, located in a midterm election coming to a city near you on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

Across America all 435 seats of the U.S. House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats of the U.S. Senate will be open for election. Thirty-nine governors’ seats will be contested. Numerous other state and local elections will also be voted on.

Pledge to cast your vote to protect American jobs.

Pledge to fight to keep good-paying American jobs here at home.


Philip J. Gruber is the Midwest Territory General Vice President of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM).
The IAM is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America and represents nearly 600,000 active and retired members in aerospace, transportation, manufacturing, shipbuilding, woodworking and other industries. For more information, visit goIAM.org.