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Who did Domingo Dis?
American Airlines in DFW
- Largest employer in North Texas
- 24,888 employees
- Labor Representation – United Transportation Workers and others (Source: North Texas Commission)
Lockheed Martin in DFW
- 6th largest employer in North Texas
- 15,000 employees
- Labor Representation – International Association of Machinists and others (Source: North Texas Commission)
General Motors in DFW
- 2,400 employees
- Produces over 1,100 vehicles per day
- Labor Representation – United Auto Workers and Others (Source: GM - Arlington)
Read the FWST Column here
Just days after a Dallas Morning News profile of Domingo Garcia quoted him saying “I’m looking forward to unifying as many people as possible” and “I see myself as a bridge builder”, Garcia alienated thousands of employees in North Texas and across new Congressional District 33 by attacking their employers and refusing to defend the programs that support their jobs.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy reported on a CD33 candidates’ forum in downtown Fort Worth last week attended by Garcia. He detailed how Garcia launched verbal broadsides against three of the largest civilian employers in North Texas – General Motors, Lockheed-Martin and American Airlines.
What did Garcia Say?
- Garcia speaking broadly about GM: “I don’t have any confidence in General Motors”
- Garcia commenting on the automobiles built at the GM plant in Arlington: “not good for America”
- Garcia’s answer to whether he supports the F-35 fighter built by Lockheed Martin: “no”
- Garcia’s opinion of American Airlines where bankruptcy leaves thousands of jobs at risk: “reprehensible”
Domingo being Domingo
Bud Kennedy explained Garcia’s open attacks against major north Texas employers in regional terms by saying “I guess he’s new here.”
However, many long-time observers will likely see Garcia’s attacks on local employers as having little to do with him being unfamiliar with Fort Worth. Rather, they will see it as an inevitable reversion to the negative and combative temperament that has made Domingo Garcia such an unreliable and divisive political personality for more than 20 years.
Fighters and advocates needed, dividers not so much
Workers at Lockheed Martin are currently on strike. Careful, sensitive negotiations are underway to reach a fair agreement that will keep good paying jobs in North Texas. Retaining the F35 fighter is critical to both organized labor and the company itself.
Meanwhile, American Airlines is engaged in difficult bankruptcy reorganization, and thousands of North Texas jobs hang in the balance. Finding common ground between the company and organized labor is critical to the company surviving. General Motors, of course, is a marquee Obama success story, and the GM Plant in Arlington is as healthy as it has been in years. The plant, however, must always compete with other regions to remain efficient and cost effective.
In past years, Members of Congress like Martin Frost have been able to maintain close ties and strong alliances with organized labor and also be recognized by the management of local major employers as a reliable advocate. The new Member of Congress from CD33 must have the instinct to fight ferociously for local jobs but also the even temperament needed to earn the trust of both management and labor.
Oddly, Garcia’s instincts are just the opposite – to dismiss the importance of local jobs and do so with divisive and dismissive rhetoric that insults employers.