Shortly before 2 p.m. on an otherwise normal day on January 18, 2019, Prince Hydraulics corporate executives called IAM Local 1426 (District 6) members into a breakroom.
Management read a brief statement informing employees that the plant, which had roots in Sioux City, IA since 1941, would be closing.
“Pack your stuff and get out,” Kurt Lambing, a 30-year employee and IAM Local 1426 member, remembers the company saying.
By 2:30, the locks had been changed at the plant.
“That place is like family down there, and they took that all away,” said Rick Pickens, a 31-year employee and IAM Local 1426 member.
Prince Hydraulics in Sioux City, which made hydraulic cylinders, valves and pumps, is one of dozens of IAM-represented facilities that have closed during the Trump administration.
“President Trump told our members that he would stand up to companies that slash our jobs in search of even greater corporate profits,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Time and time again, that promise has been broken and working families and their communities have suffered the consequences.”
“Working families have paid a heavy price for Trump’s broken promises,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “Sadly, the hemorrhaging of jobs and the closing of U.S. plants has not stopped. More than 53 Machinists Union plants have not been saved, as promised. Thousands of IAM brothers and sisters, and their families, have been destroyed. Our country will continue to see this decline as long as the Trump corporate tax cuts and other anti-worker policies are still on the books. What union members need in the White House is a candidate who will put workers before corporations.”
“It’s been almost a year now since I had to find employment again,” said Lambing. “The wages aren’t what they were with the union, that’s for sure. I miss the union. I miss being a part of that.”