He hits a plastic ball with a plastic bat and looks across his Fort Wayne, Indiana, cul-de-sac toward the house across the street. He works 50 to 60 hours a week, taking as much overtime as he can while still being a good dad and husband.
He was raised in McDonald, near Youngstown, a small town filled with flags chqt neighbors sharing cook-on-the-stove lasagna with friends down the street. Aurilio was happy. But it was a good job with benefits, building small cars for Chevrolet: first the Cavalier, then the Cobalt, and finally the Cruze. If you have ever driven through Ohio on Interstate 80, you know where Aurilio worked.
For years, there was a Jumbotron-size billboard of the Cruze just off of the tollway, with a parking lot for 4, joungstown. Not that the factory was perfect.
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Lordstown had no air conditioning, and in the hot, humid Ohio summers the temperature on the assembly line could easily hit degrees. The triends had been the center of labor unrest frkends wildcat strikes in the s, and it sometimes seemed like management still held a grudge. The auto industry was cruelly cyclical and Aurilio would lose shifts when the economy tanked or gas was cheap and everyone bought SUVs. There were ghost stories about how the plant was going to close almost every year, but in it was still here.
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Aurilio saw the guy again. He campaigned on freeing corporations from Obama-era regulations, but ironically, in this case, it fucked the workers who elected him. GM says it was a reaction to poor sales. Still, there was hope. The president said so himself.
He rkom to Youngstown in for one of his rallies and promised an economic renaissance in the area, urging Youngstown residents to stick around, the jobs were all coming back. The exact opposite happened. In AprilGM cut the second shift.
Shortly after the midterm elections, GM delivered the death sentence: The plant would close for good in the spring of Surely, Trump would do something, they reasoned, since he had just promised the jobs were coming back to Youngstown, not leaving. With 18 years in, he was 12 years from earning a pension. His wife, Kristen, dreaded moving from their beloved hometown and gave Aurilio an ultimatum: any new job had to be within four hours of Youngstown. At exactly four hours, Fort Wayne barely qualified.
In earlyAurilio and a co-worker moved to an unseen apartment in Fort Wayne. It was a few weeks before the last Cruze moved down the Lordstown youngstown friends chat room line, its white paint covered with the tears of sobbing workers. He wept like he had never wept youngsgown. They sold their house outside Youngstown last year.
Broken promises: how trump betrayed the autoworkers of youngstown, ohio
On the day they packed up, Aurilio saw his neighbor, a friend and co-worker, crying on his lawn mower. Why would this be any different?
Steel mills hummed during much of the 20th century. The tough town, located roughly halfway between Chicago and New York, hit a population ofinwith factories throbbing 24 hours a day Aurilio grew up two blocks from one. But then the mills shut down as it became cheaper ykungstown manufacture steel overseas.
Youngstown Steel announced it was closing on September 19th,throwing 5, employees out of work overnight. Sure, the workers had to ride the jagged waves of the uncertain auto industry, but the plant remained a stalwart, becoming a presidential campaign stop, with Obama, John McCain, and Hillary Clinton donning hard hats and walking the floors.
The plant survived the Great Recession and prospered. All seemed fine until after the election. We talk at some picnic tables behind the youngstown friends chat room union, UAW The youngstown friends chat room part of hosted giant picnics yoyngstown kids and raucous retirement parties, but with Lordstown closed, it is a ghost town on a windy day. InObama carried the Mahoning Room, consisting of Youngstown and its suburbs, by nearly 60, votes.
Four years later, Trump won the valley by more than 20, votes, contributing to his winning the state by eight points. He asks not to use his name because he now feels like a fool. I believed Trump.
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I was a sucker. One could make the case that Lordstown workers would still be employed if there younggstown a gas tax, similar to what most European countries have had for decades. Lordstown is a microcosm of the Trump economy. Before Covid, Trump could crow that unemployment had dropped on his watch and that his corporate tax cut had freed up money for new businesses. His tariff war with China left companies uncertain as to whether to expand or contract, and the country continued to see a hemorrhaging of good union jobs.
And for all his campaign talk of keeping blue-collar jobs in the USA, there is little evidence of success. InTrump bragged about saving factory jobs at a Carrier plant in Indianapolis. In reality, the plant still shipped jobs to Mexico. Now, the Carrier plant is surrounded by nonunion Amazon and Target distribution centers. They pay 60 percent of what an hourly worker makes at Carrier. Brown talked to Trump, expressing his concern about the situation.
He told the president that he was going to introduce the Yokngstown Cars, American Jobs Act; froends legislation would put U. The president seemed interested, but there was no follow-up. There was no real give or take on what we youngstown friends chat room do together to help this plant. GM never responded. Without presidential intervention, Lordstown was doomed once it lost the second and third shifts. Flores tells me it was impossible for GM to turn a profit on a plant running only a single shift.
There was more silence. But Trump did have time to make his trip to Youngstown and tell everyone not to sell their houses. It was only then that Trump acted — by sending out angry tweets to Barra and searching for a scapegoat.
He chose Brown. He got into a brief pissing match with Trump, but realized it was pointless. He had faithfully fought for his workers and wrote to Trump twice, with no reply. He earned the respect of Sen. Brown, who had Green as his guest at the State of the Union speech.
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His reward? I want action on Lordstown fast. Stop complaining and get the job done! Even with his mask on, Moorhead is the mayor of the place, with frends workers and other locals coming up and saying hello. He would make the long drive home to Youngstown on Friday nights.
After a particularly hellish week, Moorhead packed up his Jeep to head back to Lansing. His wife had tears in her eyes. I ask Moorhead if we can drive over to the plant. He grimaces driends bit. GM knew everyone had to get to the factory or youngstown friends chat room cars. He talks about something different. In addition to youngstowh blistering heat, Moorhead describes Lordstown as a satanic mill where every second of your shift was choreographed.
He hurt a knee working in the interiors of Chevys and screwed up his back on the line. His gnarled hands grip the steering wheel. We pull into the plant parking lot, with its thousands of empty spots. Twenty years of that and you destroy your youngstown friends chat room ligaments, you destroy your elbows, you destroy your knees.
But he watched the rise of Trump in with trepidation. Other workers talked about how the country needed a businessman president. Trump was elected, and GM started cutting shifts.
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The plant went from 4, employees to 1, room two years. Rkom could see where things were going. It was a governmental guideline that kept thousands of people working at no cost to the frlends. He saw friends fight inside the plant, taking their anger out on each other. He watched UAW chief negotiator Terry Dittes make his first appearance at the plant, telling workers to continue turning out a quality car and maybe, just maybe, the plant would be revived later in when the UAW youngstown friends chat room for a new contract.
So Moorhead and his friends kept busting their asses, and walked the picket lines when the UAW led a nationwide walkout against GM in September of that year. Detroit-Hamtramck, a fellow ailing plant, would get a second life with a billion-dollar makeover to build youngztown trucks. The UAW grudgingly accepted the permanent closing of Lordstown and two other plants in exchange for the raising of benefits for temporary and junior workers at other GM plants. The new contract was approved by a 57 percent-to percent margin.
Moorhead was crushed and felt that Trump, the union, and GM had all sold youngstown friends chat room Lordstown.
He shows me a photo of his best friend.