New Bedford Needs Federal Partners [OPINION]
With the recent loss of defense industry jobs, the ongoing attack on the fishing industry, the hollowing out of manufacturing over the years – the SouthCoast needs a champion.
Last Thursday, the story of Lockheed Martin Sippican leaving Marion was broken by investigative journalist Ted Nesi of WPRI. One of the largest defense contractors in the world is pulling out of Massachusetts and none of the Congressional delegation is willing to speak about it. In a normal political world, this would be a big deal.
There is no resistance to Lockheed Martin's decision from the elected officials who literally control the federal tax dollars that make Lockheed Martin a viable company. Massachusetts has elected officials on both the House and Senate Armed Services committees, yet not one senator or representative has even commented on this decision.
New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell is the only elected official to speak up on this matter. He has offered to help the displaced workers transition into new employment. Mayor Mitchell is doing the decent thing for vulnerable people.
Lockheed Martin has made the decision to move the jobs from Marion to New York. In addition to the jobs, the federal money that is spent locally by the company will be heading to New York. Local businesses and related employees will suffer from this loss as well.
I don’t blame the company for moving its operation. Senator Elizabeth Warren has been attacking Lockheed Martin and the defense industry for years. New York Senator Charles Shumer has worked with Lockheed Martin to keep his constituents employed. Lockheed Martin made an adult decision when they moved from Warren’s hostile work environment to Schumer’s welcoming environment.
Lockheed Martin isn’t concerned about Senator Warren or the rest of the Massachusetts delegation. Lockheed Martin steamrolled right over Massachusetts and our elected officials accepted it silently. Massachusetts gets the left-wing rhetoric and other states get the investment and jobs.
Elections have consequences.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.