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As Sen. Joe Manchin fought federal spending, his daughter helped shutter a union drug plant

Expanding democratic ownership

Not long after Healther Bresch, daughter of West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, left Mylan as its CEO, the company’s plant in Morgantown, West Virginia, closed down. At what was then the largest generic pharmaceutical plant in the country, 1,400 employees represented by United Steelworkers lost their jobs — just months after Bresch, who had overseen the plant, walked away with a $30 million payout.

The closure sent a shockwave through Morgantown, cradled in the southernmost swath of the Rust Belt. A study commissioned by The Democracy Collaborative found that the closure will result in a domino effect across Monongalia County, costing West Virginia 4,642 jobs and a negative economic impact of over $2.5 billion. At the same time, local utility providers have jacked up rates to make up for the lost revenue generated by the plant, with double-digit increases for water, sewage, and stormwater affecting a broad swath of Morgantown residents. With few job prospects and a clock running out on severance benefits, many former employees have nowhere left to turn.

Publication date: 2022-03-17
Parent publication: The Intercept
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