Democrats rally in Greencastle to support American Jobs Plan

Thursday, August 5, 2021
District 3 State Sen. Eddie Melton (D-Gary) speaks to those attending the American Jobs Plan rally Tuesday evening at Robe-Ann Park in Greencastle.
Banner Graphic/ERIC BERNSEE

Indiana Democrats are hitting the road with their American Jobs Plan tour this summer, promising to deliver for Hoosiers and visit all of Indiana’s 92 counties. Tuesday night they rallied at Greencastle’s Robe-Ann Park.

In addition to keynote speaker District 3 State Sen. Eddie Melton (D-Gary) and former 4th District Democrat congressional candidate Joe Mackey of Lafayette, the picnic crowd also heard from Greencastle Mayor Bill Dory, City Council member Veronica Pejril and Brazil resident Jason Waller, president of UAW Local 2382 at the Greencastle IAC plant.

“Our whole commitment is to help working families across our state,” Melton said, noting that jobs issues being experienced in Putnam County are no different than those occurring in northwest Indiana.

“It’s time for us to invest more in our people than in our infrastructure,” Melton stressed, adding that Indiana is ranked 43rd in the nation for overall workforce experience.

While Indiana has made a long-overdue effort to invest in its teachers, Melton said, “we can’t stop there.”

“We need to get life back to normal and even better,” the Gary legislator said. “I came to Putnam County today to show an alliance and allegiance to illustrate everyone deserves the same quality for life of every single Hoosier.”

The Indiana Democratic Party’s American Jobs Plan tour -- an effort by the Indiana Democratic Party to show why Indiana needs the Jobs Plan and a revitalized infrastructure system -- is a sequel to the American Rescue Plan tour. The goal is for Hoosiers to hear more about a plan that will create good-paying jobs, dismantle the Indiana’s “right to work” laws (creating a “work more for less” economy), and build a better future for Hoosier families.

Under the proposed American Jobs Plan, Indiana will fix crumbling roads and bridges, take broadband internet expansion to the next level, eliminate childcare deserts for families, strengthen unions via the Protect the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, and secure better health care access for Indiana’s more than 400,000 veterans.

Hoosiers can learn more about the jobs plan by visiting the Indiana Democratic Party’s website, “The American Jobs Plan: Why Indiana Needs It.”

Joe Mackey
Banner Graphic/ERIC BERNSEE

The impassioned Mackey, who lost his run at the congressional seat held by Rep. Jim Baird (R-Greencastle), said Indiana is in “a race to the bottom” and Republicans are determined to see Indiana “win that race.”

A 30-year factory worker at Caterpillar in Lafayette, Mackey said he has seen the threats made to blue-collar employees who dare try to organize a union.

“We’re not against a company making a profit but we are against making a profit at the expense of employees,” Mackey said, noting that companies are now using third-party employees hired at $12 an hour to work alongside those making $22. Then when they are laid off, there is no unemployment or they find out income tax was not being held out of their checks and they are stuck owing hundreds of dollars on April 15.

“These are your neighbors and my friends,” Mackey said of those being victimized.

“All they want is an opportunity to build a life, and it’s being stolen,” Mackey added. “We want that opportunity we were promised at birth.”

Addressing the American Jobs Plan rally Tuesday evening at Greencastle’s Robe-Ann Park, UAW Local 2382 President Jason Waller details the uncertain employment situation at the IAC plant on Fillmore Road as Joe Mackey of Lafayette and others look on.
Banner Graphic/ERIC BERNSEE

Waller, president of the UAW at Greencastle’s IAC plant on Fillmore Road, told the rally the PRO Act allows the Labor Board to put penalties on employers who violate fair labor laws and will give employees the ability to “go out to organize.”

He reminded the rally that IAC announced “significant layoffs” earlier this year. “We’re looking at losing over 85 percent of or workforce and probably are eventually going to close,” Waller said.

“It’s been very emotional and very hard the last few months,” he continued, noting he has seen co-workers and employees with as many as 27 years at IAC leaving “for no other reason than greed that they (IAC) can make more at some other place down the road than here.

“We can be more efficient and put out a better product,” Waller suggested, “but in the end it’s all about the money.”

Meanwhile, Councilor Pejril noted that she’s “deeply invested in anything that’s going to uplift the people in our community.”

She called the AJP “super, super labor friendly,” adding that it is very important for Hoosier wages and the right to organize in the workplace.

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  • Mr. Mackey's comment that Indiana is in a "race to the bottom" could not be further from the truth. By all economic metrics, Indiana is doing very well. Maybe he should go next door to Illinois if he wants to enjoy a state that's broke because it is run by Democrats that think like him.

    -- Posted by rawinger on Fri, Aug 6, 2021, at 5:56 AM
  • Sparse "crowd". They could have all sat at one picnic table. How did the paper even know this event was being held?

    -- Posted by Ben Dover on Fri, Aug 6, 2021, at 8:38 AM
  • *

    Interpolating attendance numbers from photos centered on presenters is like estimating the size of an iceberg by viewing it from a boat.

    -- Posted by Bunny1E on Fri, Aug 6, 2021, at 9:11 AM
  • MACKEY-“All they want is an opportunity to build a life, and it’s being stolen,” Mackey added. “We want that opportunity we were promised at birth.”

    Promised at birth? Really? Who promised that? Don't recall anyone promising me anything.

    Cam down folks! President Biden is now in charge.

    -- Posted by Prince of Stardust Hills on Fri, Aug 6, 2021, at 2:43 PM
  • Mackey was a thug when he was in high school.

    -- Posted by donantonio on Fri, Aug 6, 2021, at 3:25 PM
  • They make this too easy!!!

    -- Posted by beg on Fri, Aug 6, 2021, at 4:23 PM
  • *


    Democrats preach Communism/Socialism.

    Punch & Judy (Love American Style) continues on guided by the professor.

    If you keep voting for the same things, you will always get the same things.

    The Republican Party and the Democrat party are working together, against you.

    -- Posted by dreadpirateroberts on Fri, Aug 6, 2021, at 6:44 PM
  • I guess we have a new definition of rally

    -- Posted by beg on Sat, Aug 7, 2021, at 9:15 PM
  • Just a rally, not an insurrection. We were just planning for 9-9-21. Thats the day Bill Clinton is reinstated as the 18th president of the United States under the 1869 order.

    -- Posted by BJCP96 on Mon, Aug 9, 2021, at 8:24 AM

    -- Posted by beg on Mon, Aug 9, 2021, at 11:45 PM
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