Big 3 Autoworkers Get Day Off To Vote, Should Romney Worry?

With the importance of the auto industry to this nation — particularly in swing states like Ohio and Michigan — The Big Three’s election day activities often attract extra notice.

So it was no surprise when some reacted skeptically to this morning’s tweet from Chrysler SRT CEO Ralph Gilles:

This, of course, led some to speculate that this was abnormal, that the United Auto Workers union was pressuring Chrysler, or perhaps Chrysler’s top brass wanted to slam Mitt Romney for his claims that Chrysler was moving Jeep to China.

Shortly after, however, Gilles posted a follow-up that should lay conspiracy theories to rest:

For the record GM, Ford & Chrysler via negotiated terms UAW have had election day off for 15 yrs! Logically extended to salaried workers too! — Ralph Gilles (@RalphGilles) November 6, 2012

This is tradition, and has been for a decade and a half. A day-off for all workers — both hourly and salaried — not just for Chrysler, but for all three of the Detroit auto makers.

With the big three employing 181,000 people, the majority of whom live in swing states such as Ohio and Michigan, this is a powerful statement, and a very large concern for the Romney campaign.

But the most important words from Gilles are found in this tweet:

We could not say it better ourselves. This is a nation of We the People, E Pluribus Unum. We are a nation made out of a multitude of ideas, of concepts, of races, of religions. The election is the opportunity for people to express those ideas and to move our nation forward.

Today — whether you agree with our viewpoint, or not — it is still up to you to vote.