State lawmakers have been warned that their failure to approve tax incentives for the Claycomo Ford plant would be a failure that extends into dozens of Missouri towns and cities, maybe yours or one near yours.
The Ford bill is stuck in the Senate which refuses to do anything until the House passes a state workers’ pension reform bill. Governor Nixon suggests the Ford bill is too important to be held back as a bargaining chip. The Speaker of House says his chamber has passed the bill three times this year and it’s time for “others” to move forward.
Auto Workers Local President Randy Bland represents 2200 workers in 24 plants in Missouri and Kansas. But he says the futures of many more communities and many more people than those are involved if Missouri lets the Claycomo passenger car line stop. “It’ll be a tidal wave,” he says. “It’ll first hit my supplier plants union plants. But you’ve also got to remember that our union plants have a lot of nonunion plants–mom and pop shops down in the parts of the country of Missouri that you don’t think will affect that might supply a bolt or a part or a belt or something for a part that we give to the Claycomo plant.”
The loss of 11-thousand parts-making jobs, he says, would be just a start. Those 11-thousand get haircuts, go to restaurants, pay taxes that go to schools, libraries, roads and for other services. He says the economic tidal wave that would be triggered by the failure of the Ford bill is bigger than lawmakers can imagine.