Thousands Tell Whirlpool: Keep It Made in America
|AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (far right) rallies with workers at the Whirlpool plant in Evansville, Ind.|
More than 5,000 workers, community and religious activists from at least six states converged in front of the Whirlpool plant in Evansville, Ind., to say with a unified and loud voice: “Keep It Made in America.” The massive crowd stretched nearly a mile along the road leading to the plant.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka along with 40 people, including children and grandchildren of workers, clergy and retirees, used a Whirlpool refrigerator to wheel petitions with 70,000 signatures to the plant’s locked front gate. At the same time, more than 40,000 signatures on petitions were delivered to the Whirlpool headquarters in Michigan. The petitions urged Whirlpool executives to reconsider their decision to shutter the Evansville plant, laying off 1,100 people and moving jobs to Mexico. Union members also made more than 1,700 phone calls today alone to Whirlpool headquarters in Benton Harbor, Mich., and the Evansville offices with the same message.
As the petitions were delivered, marchers chanted in unison “USA,” “USA.” The crowd extended down Evansville’s Hiway 41 five-to-deep as far as the eye could see. With tears in his eyes, a local business owner told of the hardship his company would experience with the plant closing.