Editor’s note: GM autoworker Sean Crawford speaks to media at a protest about GM plant closures outside the Auto Show in Detroit. Crawford has been working at the GM Hamtramck plant, which is among those slated to be closed.
I think the protest is beautiful. The energy level is beautiful. The amount of community support that we’re getting from Canada, from union brothers and sisters from Oshawa, from our union brothers and sisters in Brazil. The community members from all over Detroit are here. It’s a beautiful thing.
Well, it really shows the juxtaposition between the opulence and wealth of certain classes of society with folks like myself and others who are getting laid off and will be affected from these layoffs. And we’re not against charity, we want charity, we want to be helped, but we also don’t want GM employees to become a charity case. We want good jobs here in Detroit.
We’ve been incredibly stressed out. A lot of us are pulling up roots and moving to other cities, different states. This is my home. I’ve lived here for three years. I love Detroit but now that I have to go to Flint and I don’t want to go and drive two hours every day with all of the traffic.
You need to respect American workers. And not only American workers but workers all over the world that create the products that allow you [GM CEO Mary Barra] to make $22 million a year. You’re making so much.
You say you come from a working class background and your father was trades. Well, go back to those roots and think about what it was like. Go to a city like Flint or go to a city like Detroit or Hamtramck. See how people are suffering. See the horrible mental disease that people get from drug abuse that happens when people are denied the opportunity to make a good living and provide for their families. And the crime rates. All that is a direct result from these corporate decisions.
We’re not just numbers. We’re human beings and we deserve to be treated like human beings.