After the latest in a three-day string of tweets from President Trump concerning GM and Lordstown, the responses on Monday were more measured.
“It’s good that he’s finally talking abut GM Lordstown,” said UAW Local 1112 vice president Tim O’Hara.
After chastising both CEO Mary Barra and local union leadership, Trump urged both sides to start bargaining to find a way to bring production back to the local facility rather than wait until the current agreement expires in the fall.
Trump’s counselor went a little further about the subject.
“When he hears ‘We’re going to meet with the UAW in October’ and it’s March, the businessman, non-politician says ‘Well, why can’t you meet in April? Or why can’t you meet tomorrow?” said Kellyanne Conway.
Trump started the social media firestorm over the weekend by calling GM out for leaving Lordstown and called on Mary Barra to bring another product to the plant or quickly sell it to another manufacturer.
He also called on UAW Local 1112 President Dave Green to take action after Green appeared on Fox News. Trump responded minutes after Green’s appearance, saying, “Democrat UAW Local 1112 President David Green ought to get his act together and produce.”
Tim Francisco of YSU’s Center for Working Class Studies said the moderating tweets showed their political undercurrent.
“I think that’s a pretty clear indication that it’s being walked back a little bit and it’s less easly to just demonize,” Francisco said.
Meanwhile, local union leaders say while they cannot control the scheduling of contract talks, they do not have much interest in the president’s suggestion to sell the plant if it can’t reopen quickly.
“We want our membership working in there for GM, building whatever product they decide to put in it if they do,” O’Hara said.
Local lawmakers, General Motors, and the UAW all responded to the president’s tweets, some criticizing the president’s words and others thanking him for calling out the auto giant.