Apparently, the filmmakers omitted Obama’s role in the drama. Were they hoping no one would remember?
Kudos to Rep Mike Turner (R-Ohio) who reminds us of these not-so-little details of the story.
Higher Ground, the production company formed last year by Barack and Michelle Obama in conjunction with Netflix, recently released its first film. “American Factory” is a documentary about a General Motors plant in Moraine, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton. The plant closed in 2008 and was reopened by a Chinese auto glass manufacturer in 2015. The film follows the lives of both the laid-off American workers and the Chinese workers brought in to run the new plant.
It’s a fascinating and at times moving film. What’s interesting about it, though, is that it never once alludes to the part Mr. Obama played in diminishing the ability of Moraine’s laid off workers to transfer to other GM plants. The president’s role wasn’t indirect and isn’t a matter of dispute: His administration’s bailout deal for GM included a backroom exclusive agreement with the United Auto Workers….
A quick refresher. The Obama administration’s auto bailout highly favored the UAW and its members. The GM plant in Moraine was unionized by the IUE-CWA. So—despite being one of the top GM facilities for quality, efficiency and production in the country—it was shuttered, and its employees were put at the back of the line when requesting transfers to other GM plants. Any non-UAW employees looking to transfer were forced to start as new hires, wiping clean any wages, tenure, and benefits built up during careers at other GM plants.
“American Factory” documents the UAW’s efforts to unionize the reopened auto glass factory without any mention of the same union’s direct role in the GM plant’s closure. The Dayton community was left out in the cold—thousands of jobs lost, families devastated, longtime GM workers out on the street looking for work….
In the Obama economy, investment was tough to come by. With a punitive and outdated tax code, international investment was nearly impossible to attract. State and local officials—especially Moraine Mayor Elaine Allison —worked relentlessly and were able to convince a Chinese manufacturer to invest in and rebuild this once-great factory. Today that company employs several thousand people in what was its start-up operation in America….
The hypocrisy of this Obama-backed film is astounding. Mr. Obama fails to acknowledge his direct role in creating the hardships the Moraine workers weathered. He had nothing whatsoever to do with the plant’s reopening—that was all the work of state and local officials and community leaders.
To put the point bluntly: If the president had his way, there would have been no plant to make a documentary about. “American Factory” would have been “Abandoned Parking Lot.”