I’m one of the workers Donald Trump lied to about saving jobs
Inside a closed auto assembly plant in Michigan. | Paul Sancya / AP

My entire working life has been dictated by offshoring. I’ve spent my career jumping from one factory closing to another.

When President Trump was elected, he said: “Companies are not going to leave the United States anymore without consequences.” His promises ring hollow to me after I got my latest layoff notice.

My first job out of high school was at a factory owned by United Technologies in Wabash, Ind. I showed up to work in March 1991 and a sign on the door read: “Moved to Mexico.” My mother, who worked for a sister factory, also lost her job when her factory was sent south of the border.

I eventually got a union job at Chrysler in Kokomo, Ind., which allowed me to give my family a decent life and build our dream house on five acres of land. In 2008, I got laid off. I lost my house and had to start over financially.

When I got my job at Schneider Electric’s “Square D” plant in Peru, Ind., five years ago, making electrical boxes and equipment, I hoped that this job would sustain me until I was ready to retire.

Unfortunately, the multinational corporation that owns our plant announced this summer that they would be moving our work to Mexico and other plants. Once our plant closes, all of Schneider Electric’s North American factories will be non-union.

Now I’m facing another layoff, even though our Peru plant was profitable. In fact, the same week I was laid off, Schneider Electric announced profits of $2.2 billion for the first half of 2019.

Donald Trump tries on a gold hard hat when visiting construction workers Trump Palace in New York in 1990. Nearly 30 years later, the billionaire is still pretending to be a friend of workers. | Mark Lennihan / AP

I’m not alone. Workers across the Midwest are suffering the same fate. And President Trump continues to fail us. Instead of punishing companies like Schneider Electric, he has rewarded them with $120 million in federal contracts and a massive tax break. The closure of my factory is sad proof that Trump’s lies have consequences.

Trump’s broken promises have become a broken record destroying our communities, even though here in Miami County, we gave him the vast majority of our votes in 2016.

Right now, Our Revolution, a political advocacy organization inspired by Sen. Bernie Sander’s historic presidential run in 2016, is helping to organize a miracle effort to save our plant. Joined by workers from the shuttered GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio and workers from the Carrier plant in Indianapolis, we are calling on Trump to sign an executive order that would prevent taxpayer dollars from going to companies that are shipping American jobs overseas.

With the next round of layoffs scheduled for Sept. 27, there is no time to waste.

Institute for Policy Studies


Tracey Aikman
Tracey Aikman

Tracey Aikman is sick and tired of mass layoffs in the Midwest. He has been laid off by global corporations United Technologies, Chrysler, and now Schneider Electric. He is married and is a father of two.