• Advertisement

VA Employees Advocate Says Trump ‘Dead Wrong’ on Privatizing the VA

AFGE President: Trump plan would betray veterans and break country’s promise to military

VA AFGE ProtestsWASHINGTON – Donald Trump’s plan to shut down the VA health care system and hand veterans a voucher to use only for-profit health care is an outrageous betrayal of our nation’s promise to care for the men and women who have borne the battle, the head of the union representing more than 230,000 employees in the Department of Veterans Affairs said today.

“Donald Trump wants to throw veterans to the wolves,” American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. said. “Private health care for veterans would be an expensive disaster, and no one should be fooled into believing otherwise.

“The VA system provides the best possible health care to veterans at the lowest possible cost. Veterans know this and that’s why they overwhelmingly want to keep the VA health care they have,” Cox said. “Trump’s claims that privatization would improve care and cut costs are dead wrong. He is writing a blank check to huge hospital corporations to profit off the suffering of veterans.”

All independent assessments agree that the VA’s health care is best for veterans on both cost and quality. Veterans themselves overwhelmingly want their health care to come from the federal government, not private hospitals. Every single Veterans Service Organization outside the Koch Brothers-backed sham group is opposed to privatizing the VA.

“Donald Trump needs to learn that VA health care is a serious issue, not something he can embrace one day and dismantle the next. Just last fall he opposed VA privatization, today he supports it on a whim. One has to wonder if he has any idea of the consequences of depriving veterans of the integrated care system on which they rely or any idea of the enormity of the loss to the nation’s health care education system that closing the VA would entail. The irresponsibility of supporting the dismantling of the VA system is staggering,” Cox said.

Cox, who cared for veterans as a VA psychiatric nurse for 20 years, says the VA is working hard to resolve the staffing shortages and wait times that emerged in 2014, hiring 14,000 health care workers and overhauling its patient scheduling system. In the past two years, 97 percent of appointments in the VA were completed within 30 days, with an average wait time of 6.5 days to see a primary care doctor – compared to 19.5 days on average for non-VA patients in the private sector.

“We need to continue investing in the VA, not sell it off for parts,” Cox said. “Veterans who fought to defend our freedoms overseas shouldn’t have to come home and fight with for-profit health care corporations for the care they earned.”

If Trump were serious about caring for veterans, he would invest in the only health care system that is tailored to veterans, that is better than all others, and is working every day to become even stronger, Cox said.

“The VA is not just a health care system, but a community that unites veterans across all wars, ages, and backgrounds. This community heals veterans in ways no private hospital can,” he said. “Health care corporations need to look elsewhere for customers. They should not profit off the wounds of war.” 

CWA Endorses Hillary Clinton for President

CWA-blue-lineWashington, D.C. — The Communications Workers of America whole-heartedly endorses Secretary Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.

We know that elections are about choices. The contrast between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, couldn’t be greater.

Hillary Clinton has stood with CWA members and pledges her commitment to making life better for working families.  She’s walked with us on the Verizon picket line. She supports the call to get big money out of politics. She is committed to ending special treatment for Wall Street and the 1 percent. She wants to help students end the cycle of education debt. She has a solid record on the issues that are critical for working families: bargaining rights and the right to organize; family and medical leave; closing tax loopholes that benefit the 1 percent at the expense of our communities; secure health care and retirement benefits, and equal pay legislation. She has reaffirmed her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, now and in a possible lame-duck session of Congress.  

Donald Trump also has been telling us exactly what he would do. He supports “right to work” laws that weaken workers’ bargaining rights.  He thinks the minimum wage is too high and that workers who want good jobs should accept lower wages.  He dismisses the need for equal pay for women.  He talks a good game about bad trade deals but manufactures his fancy ties offshore.

Hillary Clinton is thoughtful and experienced. Donald Trump is reckless, unthinking and much more likely to cut a deal with his billionaire colleagues than look out for working families.

In a Donald Trump administration, we’d be watching our backs for four years. We’d have no opportunity to move forward on real gains for working families, instead, we’d be forced on defense, just to defend the jobs and gains we’ve made over the years. With Hillary Clinton as president, we will have the ability and opportunity to push forward on our agenda to build a just, democratic society for working families.

The choice is clear.  CWA will do everything we can to mobilize our members and activists to elect Hillary Clinton President of the United States.

The largest number of CWA members and retirees are in California, Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Ohio. Activists will be engaged in worksite actions, staffing phone banks, neighborhood walks, and other support.

After receiving the endorsement of the Communications Workers of America, Hillary Clinton issued the following statement:

“I am honored to have earned the endorsement of the Communications Workers of America.

“For decades, the CWA has connected Americans to each other—and along the way, they’ve helped build the American middle class.

“As President, I will always stand with the CWA to protect workers’ fundamental rights to organize, to bargain collectively, to be safe on the job, and to retire with dignity and security after years of hard work. I was proud to join the CWA on the picket line this year as they stood up to Verizon and fought for a fair deal.

“And I will do everything in my power to defend American jobs and American workers. Any trade deal must meet three tests to earn my support: It must create good American jobs, raise wages, and advance our national security. I do not believe that the Trans-Pacific Partnership meets this high standard. That’s why I oppose the TPP — and that means before and after the election.

“Above all, we must make sure unions have a seat at the table and a champion in the White House. Because when workers are strong, families are strong—and when families are strong, America is strong.”

Commission on Care’s Final Report ‘Horrendous, Anti-Veteran’ Says VA Employees Union President

AFGE VA Protests

AFGE Members protesting cuts to the VA in June of 2016

AFGE President says Commission’s recommendations would dismantle the nation’s largest and best health care system, hurting veterans and exploding costs 

WASHINGTON – In response to the release of the Commission on Care’s final report on reforming the VA this week, American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) National President J. David Cox, Sr. today issued the following statement:

“The American Federation of Government Employees condemns in the strongest possible terms, the horrendous, anti-veteran proposal put forward by the Commission on Care. These recommendations would essentially destroy the veterans’ health care system, leaving millions of veterans without the integrated care they rely on. Veterans would suffer from a drastically reduced quality of care, higher costs, less access, and the system as a whole would become unaccountable to veterans and taxpayers. Instead it would place veterans’ care in the hands of executives with corporate backgrounds, leaving veterans without a voice.

If the Commission’s mission, as they state in their report, was to “provide eligible veterans prompt access to quality health care,” they have achieved the opposite. The only result of these recommendations would be to fragment the most integrated health care approach in the nation, lower quality across the board by sending veterans to for-profit private providers, line the pockets of private hospital corporations, and hand over control of veterans’ healthcare to an out-of-touch, corporate-style board.

The most egregious recommendation in the report would dismantle veteran-centric care through the vast expansion of costly, for-profit provider care. The VA provides veterans the best health care in the country – something acknowledged even by this biased Commission in their final report – yet they want to push veterans out the door to lower quality, for-profit providers who will inevitably offer inferior care. As it stands now, only 13 percent of mental health providers in the private sector are properly prepared to treat our veterans.  Veterans will not be helped by having inferior care at higher costs. It is far better for veterans and taxpayers to invest in the only system tailored to veterans that is already proven to be better and has already made vast improvements.

Today veterans can walk into any VA hospital and receive seamless access to the integrated primary medical, behavioral, and specialty care provided by a system that specializes in their care. This care also includes support systems offered at the VA through financial, educational, housing, and employment support. Destroying this system in favor of fragmented, for-profit private providers creates dangerous gaps in treatment and missed opportunities to heal veterans suffering from many complex, interrelated conditions and problems.

Veterans have overwhelmingly said they want to get their healthcare at the VA. It is the only system equipped to offer the veteran-centric healing they earned through their sacrifice. That’s why large and well-respected veterans service organizations like the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans oppose further privatization of the system. We urge President Obama to reject the recommendations in this horrendously anti-veteran document.”

NATCA Urges Passage of FAA Authorization Extension That Addresses Air Traffic Controller Staffing Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is urging Congress to pass an extension of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorization, which extends funding to the end of fiscal year 2017 and includes language that would help address the air traffic controller staffing crisis. The following is a statement by NATCA:

“NATCA would like to thank Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune and Ranking Member Bill Nelson, and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster and Ranking Member Peter DeFazio for their leadership in bringing this extension to the threshold of passage.

“The number of fully certified controllers working today is at a 27-year low, a crisis made worse by FAA’s inability to meet its own hiring goals in each of the last seven years. NATCA believes FAA must take a holistic, collaborative approach to resolving these staffing concerns. If passed, the extension as drafted would streamline the hiring process by allowing experienced controllers to be hired quickly; military veterans and graduates of schools in FAA’s Collegiate Training Initiative (CTI) would also be hired more expeditiously. CTI graduates and veterans would be considered in a separate pool from the general public. The extension would also increase the maximum entry age for a controller with 52 weeks experience to 35 years of age, another provision we applaud. Similar language sponsored by Reps. Carlos Curbelo and Sean Patrick Maloney in H.R. 5292 has received strong bipartisan support, with 237 co-sponsors.

“While NATCA considers the extension a good start that provides certainty through the end of the next fiscal year, our preference is for a full, long-term reauthorization with stable, predictable funding that ends both sequestration and the stop-and-go funding that has harmed the National Airspace System (NAS). NATCA is sincerely concerned that anything shorter than the proposed 14-month extension would severely hamper the FAA’s ability to adequately hire new employees and would only exacerbate the effects of stop-and-go authorization and funding on the NAS that we have experienced in recent years.”

Guest Editorial: Exposing Trump’s Trade Appeal To Working-Class Voters For What It Is

(This is a special guest editorial from Dave Johnson who works for Campaign for America’s Future.  The original post is here)

Donald Trump is selling himself as the champion of working-class voters. He says Democrats and their presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, are selling them out with trade deals. But Trump is just a fraud.

Unfortunately, President Obama is pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and Clinton is not confronting him for doing so.

That has to change – fast. Clinton must publicly, directly and loudly challenge President Obama and demand that he withdraw TPP from consideration by Congress.

Trump’s Trade Speech

Trump’s speech on trade and “globalization” issues attempted to frame Clinton and Democrats as being on the side of the “Wall Street” forces that have pushed low-wage policies on working-class Americans. He is using the upcoming and hated TPP being pushed by President Obama as an example of this, saying Clinton is only “pretending” to oppose TPP in order to get votes.

From the speech:

The legacy of Pennsylvania steelworkers lives in the bridges, railways and skyscrapers that make up our great American landscape.

But our workers’ loyalty was repaid with betrayal.

Our politicians have aggressively pursued a policy of globalization — moving our jobs, our wealth and our factories to Mexico and overseas.

Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very wealthy. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache.

[. . .] The people who rigged the system are supporting Hillary Clinton because they know as long as she is in charge nothing will ever change.

In Trump’s usage, the words “trade” and “globalization” mean one and only one thing: moving American jobs and factories to low-wage countries. This movement of jobs in recent decades, pitting American workers against exploited workers who are paid squat and can’t do anything about it, has been used as one lever to intentionally create unemployment, break the unions and force down wages. (Inflation panic leading to Federal Reserve interest rate increases, deficit scares leading to austerity — especially the refusal to spend on infrastructure – and obstruction leading to minimum wage stagnation are others.)

Trump is appealing to disaffected working class workers who used to vote Democratic, but have seen their jobs shipped out of the country and/or their wages cut or stagnate. These workers see Democrats as complicit in adopting free-trade deindustrialization policies. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), pushed and signed by President Clinton, has become a catchall symbol of this disaffection with free-trade policies, but Democrats are generally seen as having done little to fight such policies.

President Obama contributed to the problem by campaigning with a promise to renegotiate NAFTA, then reneging on this promise once elected.

Trump also went after the Chamber of Commerce for their TPP support, implying they back Clinton. The New York Times reports:

Pressing his staunch opposition to trade deals, Donald J. Trump escalated his attacks on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, saying it was “totally controlled by the special interest groups.”

“They’re a special interest that wants to have the deals that they want to have,” he told a packed arena at a rally here, to whoops and cheers. “They want to have T.P.P., the Trans-Pacific Partnership, one of the worst deals, and it’ll be the worst deal since NAFTA.”

[. . .] saying the Chamber was “controlled totally by various groups of people that don’t care about you whatsoever.”

Obama Pushing TPP As Election Nears

Clinton has said she is opposed to TPP, and opposed to letting TPP come up for a vote in the “lame duck” session of Congress that follows the election. But as Trump makes trade a centerpiece of his campaign, her opposition and trade focus has not been particularly vocal. She has not asked Democrats in Congress to oppose the TPP, and thanks to past Democratic betrayals many in the public just do not believe her.

Unfortunately, as the election nears, President Obama is pushing and pushing hard to get the TPP passed. Doing this directly conflicts with Clinton’s need to show that Democrats are on the side of working people and provides Trump with powerful ammunition.

Making matters worse, efforts to write TPP opposition into the Democratic Party platform were voted down – by Clinton delegates. Unlike Trump, Democrats do not appear to understand how much this matters to voters.

Brexit Warning

The recent “Brexit” vote should serve as a warning to Democrats to take issues like this more seriously. Working-class voters in the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU) for reasons similar to the appeal Trump is making to working-class voters here.

Analyzing the “Leave” vote in “A Working-Class Brexit,” University of Kent Professor Tim Strangleman writes the following. As you read it, substitute “Democrats” for “Labour”, “Bill Clinton” for “Blair”, “elites supporting free trade agreements” for “remain”, “anti-TPP” for “leave” and “Trump” for “UKIP”:

Resignation, despair, and political apathy have been present in many former industrial regions since the wholesale deindustrialisation of the … economy in the 1980s and 1990s. The election of the Blair-led Labour administration … masked the anger felt in these areas as traditional labour supporters and their needs were often ignored, while traditional Labour supporters were used as voting fodder. Over the … years of Labour power, that support ebbed away, first as a simple decline in votes, but gradually turning into active hostility to the Labour party. Many embraced the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

…for unskilled workers with only a secondary school education, three decades or more of neo-liberalism has left deep scars socially, politically, and culturally, with little hope or expectation that anything would change for the better.

This opposition, so skillfully drawn on by the leave campaign, is in part a working class reaction not only to six years of austerity but also to a long and deep-seated sense of injustice and marginalisation. Most of the remain side, which was a cross party grouping, didn’t seem to understand this before the referendum and, even more depressingly, doesn’t seem to understand it fully now. A stock characterisation of working-class people who intended to vote leave was to label them as unable understanding the issues, easily manipulated, or worse, racist ‘little Englanders’.

Doesn’t this sound just like the working-class voters in places like Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania and other “deindustrialized” parts of the country? These voters used to reliably vote for Democrats, the party that watched out for working people. Donald Trump is appealing directly to these voters. Democrats should not dismiss these voters as “ignorant” or “racist.”

Trump Is A Fraud On Trade

The Economic Policy Institute’s (EPI) Robert Scott, speaking to VICE, summed up why Trump only appears to have the correct analysis on trade:

“Like a drive-by shooting, he fires enough bullets, he’s going to hit some things that might look like a policy that works,” Scott told VICE. “But it doesn’t have a coherence.”

“The problem with NAFTA is that we failed to effectively help Mexico develop as part of the agreement,” Scott continued. A good model, he said, was what wealthier European nations did for their neighbors like Greece and Spain decades ago, pumping money into their economies to create new markets for goods, thus making a Pan-European economy possible.

“We could create such a vision and implement a truly united North American economy that worked for everybody but nobody’s put that on the table,” he said. “Certainly Trump is not talking about that—he’s talking about building walls.”

EPI’s president Lawrence Mishel goes further, pointing out who got us into this mess:

It’s true that the way we have undertaken globalization has hurt the vast majority of working people in this country—a view that EPI has been articulating for years, and that we will continue to articulate well after November. However, Trump’s speech makes it seem as if globalization is solely responsible for wage suppression, and that elite Democrats are solely responsible for globalization. Missing from his tale is the role of corporations and their allies have played in pushing this agenda, and the role the party he leads has played in implementing it. After all, NAFTA never would have passed without GOP votes, as two-thirds of the House Democrats opposed it.

Republican efforts to drive wages down are the real culprit here:

Furthermore, Trump has heretofore ignored the many other intentional policies that businesses and the top 1 percent have pushed to suppress wages over the last four decades. Start with excessive unemployment due to Federal Reserve Board policies which were antagonistic to wage growth and friendly to the finance sector and bondholders. Excessive unemployment leads to less wage growth, especially for low- and middle-wage workers. Add in government austerity at the federal and state levels—which has mostly been pushed by GOP governors and legislatures—that has impeded the recovery and stunted wage growth. There’s also the decimation of collective bargaining, which is the single largest reason that middle class wages have faltered. Meanwhile, the minimum wage is now more than 25 percent below its 1968 level, even though productivity since then has more than doubled. Phasing in a $15 minimum wage would lift wages for at least a third of the workforce. The most recent example is the effort to overturn the recent raising of the overtime threshold that would help more than 12 million middle-wage salaried workers obtain overtime protections.

Trump in his “trade” speech also called for getting rid of corporate taxes and getting rid of regulations on corporations. He also opposes having any minimum wage at all. Trump and the Republicans are hardly friends of working people.

Opposing TPP Must Be In The Democratic Platform

British elites were surprised when working-class voters decided to “Brexit” and “Leave” the EU. They had been more-or-less complacent about the anger that working people are feeling out there as jobs leave the country, wages are stagnant or falling, work hours get longer for those who have jobs, and the rich just get richer.

Voting against opposition to TPP in the Democratic platform shows that Democrats appear to have the same complacency on trade.

Democrats must get this right. They have to stand up for working people and demand that our trade policies start helping people instead of hurting them. That starts with Clinton demanding that the president withdraw TPP from consideration by Congress.

Clinton must pledge to renegotiate all of our trade agreements, this time with labor, environmental, consumer, human rights and other “stakeholder” groups at the table. This is the best way to show the public that she is on their side.

Here are ways to help Democrats get to the right place on this, and put TPP opposition in the platform:

● Campaign for America’s Future: Sign our petitions to Leader Nancy Pelosi. Tell her she and other democrats to send Obama a message: Don’t undermine our nominee. No vote lame duck vote on TPP.

● CREDO Action: Sign the petition: The Democratic Party platform must include unequivocal opposition to the TPP

● Keith Ellison via Democracy for America: Will you sign my petition to the DNC’s Platform Committee and join me and DFA in asking them to adopt an anti-TPP amendment when the full committee meets in Orlando on July 8-9?

Also see Bill Scher, “Trump is a William McKinley Protectionist, Not a Bernie Sanders Populist.”

#UniteAC — Trump Taj Mahal Workers Walk-Off In Strike

Trump Taj Mahal FB Share[2]STRIKE! Nearly 1,000 Trump Taj Mahal Workers Walk-Off Job Ahead of Atlantic City’s Biggest Weekend of the Year

Carl Icahn-owned Casino Has Cut Wages & Benefits by
35% for Workers Who Average Less than $12/hour

Atlantic City, NJ — Nearly a thousand cooks, housekeepers, bellmen and servers from the Trump Taj Mahal walked off the job on Friday ahead of the industry’s biggest holiday weekend to fight for decent wages and the future of their middle class livelihoods. 

The strike at the Trump Taj Mahal— a casino owned by billionaire Carl Icahn — follows on the heels of tentative agreements with the Tropicana and Caesars Entertainment, which owns Atlantic City’s Caesars, Harrah’s and Bally’s.

Many workers at the Trump Taj Mahal, including those with years on the job, have seen only $.80 in total raises over the last twelve years. The cost of living in Atlantic City has risen over 25 percent in the same time period. Housekeepers, servers and other casino workers at the Taj Mahal earn an average of less than $12/ hour. 

When casino workers can’t earn a decent wage, it hurts women and families the most. The Atlantic City casino workforce is predominantly female (55 percent), many of whom have kids and families at home to support. The average age is 49 years old.

When casino workers can’t earn a decent wage, it hurts women and families the most. The Atlantic City casino workforce is predominantly female (55 percent), many of whom have kids and families at home to support. The average age is 49 years old.

When casino workers can’t earn a decent wage, it hurts women and families the most. The Atlantic City casino workforce is predominantly female (55 percent), many of whom have kids and families at home to support. The average age is 49 years old.

Billionaires’ Gains Means Workers’ Pain

As the principle creditor between 2010 and 2014, Icahn extracted $350 million from the property, driving it into bankruptcy and then swooping in to take control. He used the bankruptcy proceeding to strip Taj Mahal workers of health benefits, retirement security and even paid breaks. Overall, he cut worker compensation in wages and benefits by 35%.

“For 20 months, 1,000 loyal Taj Mahal employees have been fighting to restore the middle class jobs that were destroyed in the bankruptcy. Today, we said enough is enough, and went on strike for a restoration of health benefits and fair wages and working conditions,” said Fabia Sespedes, a housekeeper at the Taj Mahal for 9 years.

Without health benefits, half of workers at the Trump Taj Mahal rely on subsidized health insurance. A third have no health insurance at all, putting them at risk of bankruptcy in the event of an illness and forcing taxpayers to pay for visits to the Emergency Room. Some of the workers rely on other public assistance programs, like food stamps.

“We’ve sacrificed long enough to make the Trump Taj Mahal a success. It’s time that the billionaire who owns the Taj use the millions in profits he’s taken from the Taj Mahal to provide the people who built those profits with a decent wage and good benefits that let us support our families,” said Mayra Gonzalez, a pantry chef at the Taj Mahal for 26 years. “We’ve given them every chance possible to do the right thing, now we’re going to take it to the streets.”

A Need to Reinvest in Atlantic City

Housekeepers, servers and other casino workers — who earn less than $12 per hour, or less than $25,000 per year – can’t survive on stagnant wages and have their backs against a wall because a billionaire is bent on squeezing out profits at the expense of working people and the Atlantic City economy.

“We have said from the beginning that it is impossible to revitalize Atlantic City unless the casino industry offers good jobs that let workers support their families. Four other casinos have recognized that simple fact, and it’s a shame that the Trump Taj Mahal can’t get with the program,” said Bob McDevitt, President of UNITE HERE Local 54. 


Use Twibbon to change your Facebook or Twitter profile photo to show your support for striking Trump Taj Mahal workers: http://lil.ms/1a9u 

Click here to sign their petition bit.ly/TajStrikePetition


ABOUT UNITE HERE

UNITE HERE represents workers throughout the United States and Canada who work in the hotel, gaming, food, service, airport, textile, manufacturing, distribution, laundry and transportation industries.  Learn more at www.unitehere.org.

Local 54, UNITE HERE’s Atlantic City affiliate, represents almost 10,000 casino workers fighting for the future of their families.

New England Protesters Call Out Donald Trump’s Outsourcing Record and Divisive Rhetoric

Concord, N.H. — Donald Trump’s visit to New England concluded with a stop in Manchester yesterday. Protesters were on hand at every turn to stand against his divisive rhetoric and his businesses outsourcing jobs overseas, despite his claims of favoring American workers.

“Donald Trump’s claims of being for American jobs are utterly disingenuous,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “His companies employ low-wage workers in China, Bangladesh and Honduras, among others, because it means more money in his pockets. It is has been clear that throughout his career and his presidential campaign, he is only out for himself.”

Protesters also sounded the alarm on Trump’s racist and insulting rhetoric on Latinos and Muslims. At the Manchester event, Trump joked that a “Mexican plane” was flying overhead, “ready to attack,” and suggested that he was “looking into” banning TSA workers from wearing hijabs.

Highlights of the protests

New Hampshire

WMUR

 

Eagle Tribune: Trump talks trade in NH visit

Trump and his trade remarks came under fire from the Clinton campaign and Democratic leaders, including New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley.

“New Hampshire, and the United States, deserve a president who will fight for workers and their families, not a fraud who will do anything to get ahead and cares only about himself,” Buckley said. “Donald Trump is unfit to serve as president of the United States, and voters across America will make that quite clear come November.“

NH1


Maine

WLBZ

Portland Press Herald: Trump takes aim at Clinton during raucous rally in Bangor

[Maine Attorney General Janet Mills] said Trump and his companies represent the outsourcing of jobs that has hurt manufacturing in Maine and other states. None of the products he touts or wears is made in the United States, she said.

“Donald Trump has nothing in common with the working men and women of Maine and no interest in helping them,” Mills said. “He has lined his pockets with cheap foreign labor at the expense of Maine workers and American workers. The ‘King of Debt,’ so-called, who says wages are too high, will be no help to the people of Maine.”

WGME


Massachusetts

CBS-Boston: Donald Trump’s Private Boston Fundraiser Target of Protestors

A group of about 100 protesters that included Congressman Michael Capuano and Ayanna Pressley held signs and chanted across the street from the hotel in Post Office Square more than an hour before Trump’s arrival.

NECN: Protesters Gather Outside Trump’s Closed Fundraiser in Boston

“Donald Trump needs to know that his disastrous message on the economy and is bigoted hate speech is not welcome in Boston, it’s not welcome in Massachusetts and that’s what people here want to let him know,” said Dan Hoffer of the Service Employees International Union Local 888.

U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano was among those protesting the real estate mogul outside the Langham.

“This is his welcome to Boston,” the Democrat said of Trump.

Leo W Gerard: Donald “You’re Fired” Trump, Kills Jobs

After mouthing off in ways that had the effect of repeatedly shooting himself in the foot, Donald Trump tried to recover last week by puffing himself up as the jobs candidate.

“When I see the crumbling roads and bridges, or the dilapidated airports, or the factories moving overseas to Mexico or to other countries, I know these problems can all be fixed,” Trump told a New York audience, “Only by me.”

That would suggest Trump knows how to create infrastructure and manufacturing jobs. American jobs. Good-paying jobs. It suggests he appreciates the value of workers’ contributions to an enterprise. And that he understands the daily struggles of non-billionaires. This proposition is utterly ridiculous. The name Donald Trump is synonymous with the words “You’re fired!” He made money by brutally, publicly taking people’s jobs from them. And he clearly enjoyed it.

2016-06-26-1466952302-5525812-TrumpBlogjobs.jpg

Trump’s most recent victim was was Corey Lewandowski. This employee didn’t suffer the indignity of a televised firing on “The Apprentice.” But Trump did havehis guards visibly escort his former campaign manager out of Trump Tower last week. This after Lewandowski’s experienced guidance helped Trump, a political novice, defeat 16 seasoned Republican contenders.

When Trump got what he wanted out of Lewandowski, he threw the guy out. Trump showed no appreciation for the guy’s contribution to the enterprise. Trump exhibited no sense of loyalty. That is exactly the kind of corporate callousness and betrayal that has embittered American workers for the past two decades.

Workers give their all, go above and beyond to help make corporations like Nabisco and Carrier highly profitable. Then greedy corporations turn on those dedicated workers, close U.S. factories and move production to places like China and Mexico. American workers are left unemployed and billionaire owners like Trump get a few extra bucks.

Trump practices this corporate model. He manufactures Trump Collection products overseas. He makes Trump ties in China. He stiches Trump suits in Vietnam and Mexico. He produces Trump furniture in Turkey. He fabricates Trump picture frames in India. He constructs Trump barware in Slovenia.

That’s more money for Trump, true. But it’s not creating American jobs.

Trump doesn’t care about the slave-wage workers producing his products overseas or the minimum-wage workers unable to scrape by in the United States. When asked if the federal minimum wage of $7.25 should be raised because nobody can live on that little money, Trump said no.

Trump was born with a silver gaffe in his mouth, raised in luxury, set up in business by his father and bailed out by his daddy when he stumbled. He has no idea what living on the minimum wage of $290 a week means. He once had to live on a strict budget of $112,500 a week. That occurred as he neared bankruptcy 26 years ago.

Not only that, the billionaire said Americans’ wages, which have been stagnant for decades, are too high. Trump thinks the truck driver or mechanic or welder who earns $52,000 a year in 2016 is making too much money. But, of course, Trump knows what scrimping is. He once had to live on $112,500 a week.

The same day Trump fired Lewandowski, Moody’s Analytics, a subsidiary of the credit rating and research agency Moody’s Corp., released a report authored by four economists predicting an economic and jobs disaster if Trump is elected president.

Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi, who has worked for both Democratic and Republican politicians, told the New York Times that he and the other authors found Trump’s policies, “will result in a lot of lost jobs,  higher unemployment, higher interest rates, lower stock prices.”

If Trump is elected and achieves all of his proposed policies, the economists projected that he would plunge the country into an economic downturn that would be longer and deeper than the 2008 Great Recession and destroy more than 3.5 million jobs.

That is the opposite of a jobs president.

On Friday, when the world learned that Britons had voted to exit the European Union, Donald Trump hailed the result as a “fantastic thing.”

“I think it’s a great thing that happened,” he said, as financial markets worldwide plunged on the news, and the value of the British pound plummeted to depths not seen since 1985, far below its worst during the Great Recession.

The value of the Euro also dropped, and the American stock market suffered as well, with the Down Jones Industrial Average falling 610 points, the eighth largest loss ever.

Bad stock market news is not good for jobs. And when the pound loses value, British workers get hurt.

But it’s good for Donald Trump. And that’s all he had in mind. He told reporters Friday: “When the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly.”  He was referring to foreign visitors taking advantage of the currency devaluation to visit his golf course in Scotland.

Even if Brexit drives Europe back into recession and millions once again lose their jobs and their homes, the rich will still play golf at Turnberry. And that’s more money for billionaire Trump. That’s foremost in Trump’s mind.

Worse than Brexit for the global economy would be a President Trump. That’s according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, (EIU) one of the leading firms analyzing threats to the global economy. EIU ranked a Trump presidency riskier to the global economy than Britain leaving the European Union – and in just one day, that event left global markets utterly shaken.

Donald Trump definitely has expertise. It is self-promotion. It is financial self-interest. It is firing people. It certainly is not promoting American workers’ interests, raising their wages or building an economy that would generate family-supporting jobs.

The Nashua Labor Coalition Endorses Daniel Weeks For Executive Council In District 5

“We need a strong leader like Daniel Weeks to represent us as our Executive Councilor, who will put the people above partisan politics.”

Nashua Labor Coalition LogosToday, the Nashua Labor Coalition, a group of local union members and community activists, are proud to endorse Daniel Weeks for Executive Council from District 5, highlighting his commitment to bringing commuter rail to Southern New Hampshire.

Deb Howes, Chairwoman of the Nashua Labor Coalition released the following statement:

“We are proud to endorse Daniel Weeks for Executive Council,” said Deb Howes, Chairwoman of the Nashua Labor Coalition. “Daniel has spent many years advocating on behalf of working families, eliminating poverty, and restoring our democracy. Now he will be able to continue to fight for the working people of New Hampshire as our Executive Councilor.”

“Over the last few years we have seen the Executive Council take a decidedly partisan turn. Executive Councilor David Wheeler, and others on the council, attempted to block the expansion of Medicaid to thousands of low-income families, to defund women’s healthcare facilities, and most of all, blocked the expansion of rail service to Southern New Hampshire.

“Study after study has shown expanding rail service  in Southern New Hampshire will significantly boost our local economy. Yet David Wheeler continues to vote against expanding rail service, and against the people he represents. Daniel Weeks is committed to expanding rail service to Nashua and beyond, and will continue to do what is necessary to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

“We need a strong leader like Daniel Weeks to represent us as our Executive Councilor, who will put the people above partisan politics.

“I am honored to receive the Nashua Labor Coalition’s endorsement for Executive Council and eager to work together on the issues that matter most our community,” said Daniel Weeks. “Working people in District 5 deserve a voice on the Executive Council–someone who understands systemic inequality and will fight to expand opportunity for all by making smart investments in transportation infrastructure, women’s health, and life-saving drug treatment. With your help, I will continue my lifelong work to ensure that every voice is heard in our democracy.”


The Nashua Labor Coalition is a chapter of NH AFL-CIO. It includes Nashua Area Affiliated and Non-Affiliated Unions, as well as community organizations.

Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump: The GOP Grifters

By BERRY CRAIG
AFT Local 1360

Four sentences from Hillary Clinton’s Columbus, Ohio, speech should be tacked on bulletin boards in every union hall:

“Trump ties are made in China. Trump furniture in Turkey. Trump picture frames in Indiana. Trump barware in Slovenia and I could go on and on, but you get the idea.”

Donald Trump Fool AidIndeed most union members do, including this retiree who voted for Bernie Sanders in the Kentucky primary. We’re backing Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee who the AFL-CIO recently endorsed.

But it’s crucial that she keep hammering home the fact that Donald Trump is as phony as his orange-is-the-new blonde hair hue. That’s especially so on issues vital to those of us who pack union cards.

Oh, Trump the big-time outsourcer never misses a chance to trash U.S. companies that ship jobs and production to cheap labor countries—often after busting stateside unions.

It’s funny, though. The all but certain GOP nominee hasn’t denied what Clinton said about him. Nor did the self-appointed media “fact checkers” cry foul at her remarks.

Anyway, with Trump “it’s déjà vu all over again,” to quote the late Yankee great Yogi Berra. Trump is running a scam on working stiffs that reminds me of Ronald Reagan’s almost identical con job.

The Gipper, the most anti-union president since Herbert Hoover, claimed to champion blue collar America. The Donald does, too.

Sad to say, Reagan’s sucker play worked on more than a few union members. They helped elect the guy.

“Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost!” pre-President Reagan said. Only months after he took office, he smashed the Professional Air Traffic Controllers, one of the few unions that endorsed him.

When PATCO members went on strike for better pay and working conditions, Reagan fired them. Their union was decertified and strikers were prohibited from ever working for Uncle Sam again. (President Bill Clinton lifted the ban.)

By crushing PATCO, Reagan flashed “an unambiguous signal that employers need feel little or no obligation to their workers, and employers got that message loud and clear – illegally firing workers who sought to unionize, replacing permanent employees who could collect benefits with temps who could not, shipping factories and jobs abroad,” the Washington Post’s Harold Meyerson wrote.

(Before he decided to run for president, Trump was on board with outsourcing.)

Reagan’s bare-knucks union-busting shouldn’t have surprised PATCO. The AFL-CIO repeatedly warned that his sometimes pro-union rhetoric was a far cry from his anti-union positions. Reagan touted “right to work” laws when he ran for president.

The AFL-CIO endorsed President Jimmy Carter’s reelection. So did nearly every union.

“A union member voting for Ronald Reagan is like a chicken voting for Col. Sanders,” said a sign in a Paducah union hall 26 years ago.

I don’t know if anybody saved the sign. But if somebody did, it ought to go back up with “Ronald Reagan” painted out and “Donald Trump” painted on.

Like Reagan’s in 1980, Trump’s record is out there, plain for all to see.

Trump says he prefers “right to work” states to non-RTW states.

Trump is fine with U.S. companies pulling up stakes in one state and relocating in another. Translation: Trump is cool with companies busting unions in non-RTW states and moving to RTW states.

Trump is fighting tooth-and-nail to keep his Las Vegas hotel workers from organizing a union.

“Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.,” is the tagline The Huffington Post puts on its stories about the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

I’ve packed a union card for more than 20 years. Trump mocks the fundamental principle of trade unionism: In a union, everybody is a brother or sister, regardless of race, creed, religion, ethnicity, sexuality or anything else.

In a 1967 speech, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, one of labor’s best friends ever in Washington, told a story that captured the essence of our movement:

“…Trade unionism is about human dignity, just as much as it is about wages, hours and working conditions. I remember vividly what ·an old Polish-American worker told a good friend of mine here:

“‘You know what the union really means to me. Twenty years ago, when I first came to this shop, everybody called me ‘dumb Polack.’ Now they call me ‘Brother.'”

Grifters Reagan and Trump also put me in mind of the old expression, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Reagan was once. Trump would be twice.

  • Subscribe to the NH Labor News via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 12,327 other subscribers

  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement