News Release

Understanding Michigan: * Trade * Auto Bailout * GM Stopped Using Flint Water


6a00d83452507269e20192ac311fce970dFRANK HAMMER, fkhammer at
Hammer is a retired General Motors employee of 32 years. He was president of United Auto Workers Local 909 in Warren, Michigan. He’s currently a labor organizer at the School of the Americas Watch.

Hammer stressed the importance of Bernie Sanders’ long-time opposition to corporate trade deals like NAFTA and the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership in his victory in Michigan on Tuesday. Hammer was recently interviewed on The Real News segment “Clinton Misleads Voters on Sanders’ Support for the Auto Bailout Ahead of Michigan Primary,”: “I think that they have to take a very sober look when it goes down into their trade question, for example, because [Hillary Clinton] has — not a good record in regard to supporting some of these trade agreements. And you have Trump [who is] coming out and championing doing away with NAFTA, not supporting TPP.

“So I think that this is something that Democrats should really take a good, careful look at, because it’s not necessarily the case that Clinton is going to beat somebody like Trump.” See: “Flipping on TPP, Hillary Clinton Proves Chameleon-Like on Corporate Trade.”

Also see Hammer’s interview, “Trump Says Mexican Auto Industry to Blame for Detroit’s Economic Hardship,” with The Real News.

Hammer added: “Clinton told a real whopper during the debate. The fact of the matter is presidential candidate Sanders did in fact support the [auto] bailout. I think a lot of people who only saw the debate were fooled by that.”

Regarding the Flint water crisis, Hammer noted: “I think the elephant in the room that neither Clinton nor Bernie Sanders has talked about is the role of General Motors in Flint. … General Motors exempted itself from the Flint [River] water a few months after the water was switched to Flint [River] water, because it was rusting parts in their engines, and got an exemption. … And General Motors didn’t think to inquire about the impact of that water on people.” See local news article from 2014: “General Motors shutting off Flint River water at engine plant over corrosion worries.”