Campaign blames hedge funds for GM worker woes

The Bernie Sanders campaign distributed to media members at his Lordstown rally Sunday a report that blamed hedge funds for attacking General Motors and American jobs.

GM is expected to save billions from the plant closures and massive layoffs, including the idling of the Lordstown assembly plant, which cost more than 1,500 area jobs. Less than a quarter of the money that they’ve “eagerly given away to their billionaire shareholders and friends on Wall Street,” according to the United Auto Workers.

Sanders’ campaign distributed a report researched by Charles Kahn of Hedge Clippers and developed in a partnership with the American Federation of Teachers union, titled “Hedge Papers No. 66: Hedge funds attack General Motors and American Jobs.”

Kahn said hedge fund leaders mounted a campaign aimed at the company to hand over profits in the form of stock buybacks — which were at one time illegal — as soon as the company came out from the terms of the taxpayer-funded government bailout in 2013.

“Hedge fund investors repeatedly mounted pressure campaigns to prevent GM from reinvesting their profits anywhere but back into their own share price. Through paid agents, harassing proxy measures and public threats, the hedge funds extracted billions in buybacks,” the report states. “Hedge fund attacks hurt the corporations and communities they’re targeting, and even many of the pensioners and workers who provide the cash for the hedge funds.”

rfox@tribtoday.com

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