Corning: plant closure features in Obama campaign ad

A new television advertisement released 17 September 2008 by Senator Barack Obama“s campaign features the closure of Corning Inc.“s plant in State College, Pennsylvania, and accuses Washington with …

A new television advertisement released 17 September 2008 by Senator Barack Obama“s campaign features the closure of Corning Inc.“s plant in State College, Pennsylvania, and accuses Washington with Senator John McCain“s help of selling out the workers. The ad features photos of blue-collar workers. It highlights the fact that, in 2004, the company rehired many of the workers to dismantle the equipment so it could be shipped to China. It also accuses Senator McCain of supporting tax breaks to companies that moved jobs overseas and of voting against a attack on unfair trade practices. “Washington sold them out with the help of people like John McCain”, the ad says. Paul Lindsay, a McCain campaign spokesman, accused Obama in a statement of using job losses as “an opportunity to launch political distortions”, with the ad. The ad will run in Pennsylvania and 13 other states, said Sean Smith, a campaign spokesman. The Obama campaign has been spending about USD 850,000 a week on advertising in Pennsylvania, where polls show the race is very close. In 2003, Corning announced about 1,000 job losses at the plant where Corning Asahi Video Products made glass tubes for television sets and computer monitors. Dan Collins, a Corning spokesman, said 17 September 2008 that manufacturing of the glass tubes ceased because it was not profitable to make them, but that no jobs were moved overseas with the plant“s closure. Mr. Collins said the company hired back the workers to dismantle the equipment to sell to another company because, “otherwise we would“ve hired out-of-state workers. Somebody was going to do it”. He said as far as he knows, the company that bought the equipment was not successful. Today, Corning has 3,000 more US-based jobs than it did in late 2003, he said.