For nearly three weeks, Joe Rugola, Ohio AFL-CIO president, has walked across the state to remind Ohioans not to be distracted by side issues this election season and to focus on the toll of eight years of Bush-McCain economic polices—more than 180,000 Ohio jobs lost and nearly 1,100 plants, factories and other workplaces closed forever.
Yesterday in Jackson, a town of some 6,000 in southern Ohio, Rugola saw firsthand the devastation wrought by a policy that rewards employers who take jobs overseas. Rugola talked with Peggy Nixon, a member of the United Steelworkers who lost her job at Meridian Automotive Systems when the plant shut down last year, putting some 300 workers out of a job. Nixon, who has worked more than 30 years at the plant, says she and her husband live off his disability check and “whatever we can pick up.” (See video.)
We’re just trying to pick up and start all over again. We recycle a lot. I’ve sold more pop cans than I care to mention. If it wasn’t for the union, I don’t know what we would have done.