YORKVILLE - Day two of a seven-day tour of Ohio by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown brought the Democratic incumbent to the Yorkville Fire Station where 200 steelworkers, retirees and Democrats cheered for him and booed his Republican opponent.
"I just want to say thanks for what he has done for the steelworkers here. He helped save our plant so we can go back to work," said Jim Herman of Tiltonsville.
Brown is expected to make 25 stops during his final campaign swing across the state.
A YORKVILLE WELCOME — Approximately 200 people welcomed Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio to the Yorkville Fire Station Saturday afternoon with signs and applause. Brown is on a seven- day tour of Ohio during the final stage of his re-election campaign. -- Dave Gossett
"We have a five vehicle caravan that includes three Chevy Cruzes and two Jeeps, all made in the United States and in Ohio. And the Cruze my wife is driving has an engine made in Defiance, plastic made in Akron, seats made in Warren, steel from Middletown and the Cruzes are put together by 4,500 autoworkers in Youngstown with Teamsters delivering the finished product across the United States," declared Brown.
"The good news is manufacturing is back. The bad news is there are people who don't want manufacturing back in this country. And there is now more money being spent against me than in any other senate race. There has been $29 million spent to defeat me and we think the money is coming from Wall Street and the oil industry," said Brown.
"But I would rather have steelworkers on my side than Exxon. I would rather have the building trades unions on my side than Wall Street. And I would rather have organized labor on my side than the companies who outsource jobs," added Brown.
"Just remember this state is where the governor and some members of the legislature put collective bargaining for public employees on the ballot. They thought they could divide public service employee unions and manufacturing unions. But they were wrong and we defeated that attempt with 61 percent of the vote," continued Brown.
"I know we will win this fall because you folks here in this fire hall know how to organize. You did it last fall. I want you to walk out of this hall and use your influence during the next nine days. You are the most organized group of people in Ohio so lets use that again," implored Brown.
Brown was introduced at the rally by Jack Baker of Tiltonsville who cited his 34 years as a steelworker at the Yorkville plant.
"And thanks to Sherrod Brown I still am a steelworker. We have had a bad couple of years and we thought we were on our last leg. But Sherrod Brown didn't turn his back on Ohio. And because of his support we are going back to work in Yorkville," Baker stated.
Jerry Connor, president of the United Steelworkers Local 1223 credited Brown and state Senator Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville for working to resolve an environmental issue to clear the sale of the plant to Esmark.
"We are so happy and pleased that we could make this happen because we care about steel jobs in Ohio. And we will do everything we can to keep steel jobs in Ohio in the future," Gentile said.
"We are still in contract negotiations. And we are getting closer to reaching an agreement that will see our maintenance workers back in the plant in November or December and limited production in January," Connor explained after the rally concluded.
"This is great for Yorkville and the Ohio Valley. Our village council was asked by the USW Local 1223 officials to write letters asking for help in getting the local plant back to work. We wrote to everyone Democrat and Republican and Sherrod Brown came through for us. We just wanted to get this this mill going again," declared Yorkville Council President Blair Closser.
Also attending the rally were former U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson who is seeking to return to his congressional seat and state Rep. Jack Cera, D-Bellaire.