Sun. 8:16 p.m.: Sanders stumps in Lordstown

WARREN – General Motors said it would be too costly to invest $100 million in the Lordstown plant, but chose to give $25 billion in stock buybacks at the urging of hedge fund managers, padding the pockets of the already rich and whisking away well-paying jobs people depended on, said Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during a “town meeting” Sunday at Lordstown High School.

Sanders promised if he were elected president, government contracts won’t be awarded to companies that send jobs out of the country for cheap labor, closing down plants, while benefiting from corporate tax breaks and government bailouts, only to turn their back on the workers that made them a success by folding to hedge fund managers. GM was given $700 million in government contracts under the Trump Administration, Sanders said.

“What we have to decide, whether in our democracy, we are going to allow a handful of billionaires on Wall Street to close down profitable plants like the one here in Lordstown. Whether we are going to allow them to go to Washington and ascertain incredible tax breaks for the 1 percent and then fight to cut social security, Medicare and Medicaid. Whether they are going to dictate trade policies in America, so that profitable corporations will destroy the lives of American workers while they go abroad and pay people $2 an hour to do the work that used to be done in America,” Sanders said.

GM was pressured by hedge fund managers to take their profits and hand them over to shareholders, rather than investing in American production plants and jobs, Sanders said.

“Our job now is to tell them, whether they like it or not, they will be good corporate citizens,” Sanders said. “If entities like General Motors think that they can throw workers out on the street while they are making billions in profit, and they move to Mexico and pay people there starvation wages and then line up to get federal government contracts, well they got another (thing) coming, that ain’t going to happen.”

More in Monday’s edition of the Tribune Chronicle.