Members of America’s largest autoworkers union are paying too much in dues, President Trump said Wednesday during a speech at an Ohio tank plant.
The president criticized the leadership of United Automobile Workers (UAW) and called on them to lower the membership fees for the organization’s 400,000 members.
Trump’s remarks at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio, known as the Lima Army Tank Plant, also referred to the idling of a General Motors plant in Lordstown last year. Lordstown is in eastern Ohio, about 193 miles east of Lima.
“They could’ve kept that gorgeous plant,” Trump said, according to Cleveland.com. “Lower your dues. Lower your dues.”
But employees pay dues to the union, not to General Motors, the report noted.
Just days ago, Trump criticized President Dave Green of UAW Local 1112, the chapter that represents the Lordstown workers.
“Democrat UAW Local 1112 President David Green ought to get his act together and produce. G.M. let our Country down, but other much better car companies are coming into the U.S. in droves. I want action on Lordstown fast. Stop complaining and get the job done!” the president wrote.
Green had criticized Trump’s tax cut during an interview Sunday with Fox News, saying it “incentivized corporations like (GM) to pay less taxes on profits when they bring products in from outside our borders.”
On Wednesday, Green told Fox News’ Dana Perino that he hasn’t “taken any of this personally,” and that he wants legislators to work together. He said his union “just wants to better policy,” and that he is trying to “stay out of the feud” between Trump and GM CEO Mary Barra.
Ohio Democrats defended Green and the union, with 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke personally meeting with Green on Monday in Lordstown, the paper reported.
On his Wednesday speech, Trump also leveled larger criticism at union leaders.
“I want to deal with the people in the union, not the heads of the union, because the heads of the union are not honest people,” Trump said, according to the Washington Examiner. “They’re not honest. They’re not honest and they ought to lower your dues, by the way. They ought to stop with the dues. You’re paying too much dues.”
The union responded by saying it has already put in place a plan for members’ dues to be lowered to their pre-2011 level as soon as the strike fund reaches $850 million, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Dues are paid according to the rules explained on the UAW website.