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New Polling Data Shows Trump Is Not As Favored By Union Members As He Says He Is

Donald Trump (Image by Gage Skidmore CC FLIKR)

Donald Trump (Image by Gage Skidmore CC FLIKR)

Do Union members really support Donald Trump as much as Trump says they do? 

Donald Trump said and continues to reiterate, “I have tremendous support within unions…every poll shows it.

Everyone knows that Trump likes to stretch the truth a little and nobody loves Trump more than Trump, but the truth is that union members really don’t like the idea of a Trump presidency.

Today, the AFL-CIO released new internal polling data that shows “Trump is at 36 percent among union members in the five battleground states of FL, NV, OH, PA and WI.”  

Just as many other Americans are turning away from Trump’s extreme rhetoric and xenophobic statements, among union members Trump has lost over five points in these key states over the last two and a half months.   

“We are educating our members and demonstrating the dangers Trump’s reality show poses to our reality. It’s making a difference. And we’re not letting up,” wrote the AFL-CIO. “’Every poll shows it.’ He can keep saying it, but like most things with Trump, the claim is just hollow words – and it won’t come true on Election Day.”

Trump is really not as pro-union as he claims.

Culinary Union 226Union members across the country are watching the ongoing labor dispute between Trump’s Las Vegas Hotel and the Culinary Workers local 226 (Unite Here) as real guide to how Trump works, or doesn’t work, with unions.

In April, after Trump Hotel Las Vegas disputed the union election, the Regional Director for the office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) covering Las Vegas overruled the Trump Hotel Las Vegas and certified the Culinary and Bartenders Union as the legal collective bargaining representatives to the more than 500 workers at the hotel.

Since then Trump Hotel Las Vegas has tried to “negate their employees’ right to unionize and instead of recognizing the results of the federal government union election, hotel management has undertaken a hostile anti-union campaign” wrote the Culinary Workers Union in recent press release. “Employees of the Trump Hotel Las Vegas are calling on their boss, the Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, and co-owner Phillip Ruffin to negotiate a fair union contract.”

The Culinary Workers Union is also working to “educate and inform the travel industry about the serious ongoing and escalating labor dispute” at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas.

In July, the Culinary Workers Union and AFSCME teamed up to hold a rally highlighting Trump’s union busting tactics.  Maria Mendoza was one of the thousands who showed up to protest the Trump’s failure to negotiate.

“I work hard everyday, but with the low wages I’m paid, I really struggle to provide for my daughters,” said Maria Mendoza, a guest room attendant at the Trump Hotel Las Vegas. “Mr. Trump says that he wants to ‘Make America Great Again,’ but I work for him and want him to negotiate a union contract so my coworkers and I can have fair wages, job security, and good health benefits.

Culinary Trump Protest

The ongoing battle between union members and Trump’s Las Vegas hotel is not the only thing that union member have taken offense to. Earlier in the campaign Trump professed his love for “Right to Work.”  Trump told the crowd that Right to Work is “better for the people” and “gives great flexibility to the companies.”

Union members have been fighting for decades against these so-called Right to Work laws. Right to Work (for less) does nothing but lower wages, reduces a workers chance to have any type of retirement benefit, weakens collective bargaining, and is just a tool to bust unions.

So-called Right to Work laws hurt all workers.

“The average worker in states with Right to Work laws makes $5,971 (12.2 percent) less annually than workers in states without right to when all other factors are removed than workers in other states,” stated the AFL-CIO.

Trump’s continued support of anti-worker policies like Right to Work and his company’s refusal to negotiate with workers will only drive down his support among union workers further.

Donald Trump Right to Work

Leo W Gerard: Challenging The Stereotype Angry White Guy For Trump

Image by Lee Ruk CC Flikr

Image by Lee Ruk CC Flikr

As what the press has dubbed, “Hillary Clinton’s Blue Collar Bus Tour,” travels across Pennsylvania and Ohio, I want to tell you about two angry white men I met at the Democratic National Convention last week.

The press would have you believe that all of the angry white men are Trump supporters. This is the stereotype: They are high school educated, gun-totin’, flag-wavin’, bigots who love the bragging, swaggering bully in Trump.

But that’s an easy story. Those guys are easy to find. They fill Donald Trump’s stadiums. It’s true they’re out there. But what’s also true is that there’s a huge number of high school educated white men who don’t go to Trump rallies. They aren’t flag waving bigots. These are guys who only carry guns when they are hunting. They’re angry, all right. They’re angry at being associated with Trump.

Two of them were delegates to the Democratic National Convention last week. Both will be voting for Hillary Clinton and both will be urging their union brothers and sisters to do the same. They are Jim Savage, who is a member and past president of USW Local 10-1, where most members work at Philadelphia Energy Solutions, and Richard Ray, who is a retired member of the USW at Owens-Illinois Inc., having worked at plants in both North Carolina and Georgia.

For Ray, backing Trump would be antithetical to his life-long commitment to organized labor.


Richard Ray

Ray joined the American Flint Glass Workers union when he got a job with the Owens-Illinois Glass Co. in Durham, N.C. when he was 20 years old.  Six months later, he was elected shop steward. He held elected union offices for the next 49 years, all the way up to president of the Georgia State AFL-CIO, always in the not-so-union-friendly South. He became a member of the USW when the glass workers and the steelworkers merged.

Ray devoted his life to helping the group, getting better wages, benefits and working conditions for his union brothers and sisters. The most vital value to union members, he explains, is “we.” The idea, he said, is that everybody helps improve life for everybody: “We are all in it together.”

“With Trump, though, it is always, me, me, me,” Ray said. What is most important to Donald Trump is Donald Trump.

It is true, Ray noted, that Donald Trump is very rich, that he has done very well for himself. For the “me.” But he has also gone bankrupt repeatedly. And when he did, he protected himself at the expense of working guys and small contractors. Trump paid pennies on the dollar to electricians and bricklayers and other skilled laborers. Lots of small contractors in New Jersey lost their family businesses because Trump didn’t pay what he owed them.

“He is the only one who came out smelling like a rose,” Ray told me. Trump wasn’t thinking of the other guy like a union brother or sister would. He was just thinking of Donald Trump.

The same is true with Trump’s signature products like suits and ties. Trump could have thought of the “we” and made a little bit less money for himself by manufacturing those products in America. But he didn’t. He makes them off shore with exploited foreign labor.

And right now Trump could be helping unemployed Americans, caring about the American “we,” but instead he is applying for 78 visas to bring in foreign nationals to work at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Ray told me that, by contrast, when he listens to Hillary Clinton, he hears the opposite. Even her slogan is “stronger together.”

He noted that when Hillary Clinton left an Ivy League law school, she could have taken a high-paid job with a law firm and just made money for herself, the way Donald Trump did when he left the Ivy League Wharton School. But instead, Hillary Clinton began working for children with disabilities. And she has been laboring to help people ever since, including securing health insurance for low income children when she was First Lady.

“I don’t think it has ever been about ‘me’ for Hillary Clinton,” Ray told me. “It has always been about we.”

Ray is a no stereotype southern working class white man voting for Trump. He will be working hard over the next four months to make sure his union brothers and sisters, his neighbors, friends and acquaintances all see that stereotype is as repulsive as he does.

Savage is no stereotype rust belt working class white man voting for Trump. Vice president of the Philadelphia AFL-CIO, Savage came to the convention as a Bernie Sanders delegate because his mission is economic justice. He said he switched his allegiance to Hillary Clinton easily because she has supported organized labor her entire political life.


Jim Savage

Savage told me that he has fought throughout his life as a labor leader for economic justice and thought that racial justice would just naturally come along with it. But it has not.

“Economic justice doesn’t mean shit if it is only for a certain sector,” he told me last week. This is personal for Savage because he has both white grandchildren and black grandchildren. He wants them all to have the same opportunities. And he wants them to be treated equally in all areas of society.

He is deeply offended by racist comments Donald Trump has made. And he is deeply offended that people assume that because he is a white working class man that he is a Trump supporter.

“We need economic justice for all people, for people’s wives and daughters and neighbors,” Savage said. And that is why he is a white, working-class man supporting Hillary Clinton.

LiUNA Workers Remember Sept 11th And Now Are Rebuilding The Fallen Towers

For millions of Americans September 11th 2001 is a day that we will never forget.  It was the day when our country was attacked by terrorists.  The world watched as the World Trade Center towers fell.  Every America was filled with fear and a sudden rush of patriotism.

After the planes crashed into the World Trade Center hundreds of brave men and women rushed into the burning building to try to save anyone trapped in the building.  Then as the building came crashing down thousands were lost.  After the buildings fell even more people joined in the fight to look for survivors.

Jorge Fernadez a laborer with LiUNA local 79 (NYC) was there.  He stated he had “no idea what was happening”.  Fernadez and many other LiUNA members quickly jumped up to help the firefighters at ground zero.

“I remember one day helping the firefighters.  We carried probably 200 oxygen tanks, off a truck, on our shoulders down to wherever they needed it”.

Clint Jones (LiUNA 79) was also there.  He spent weeks at ground zero after September 11th. In a video by LiUNA Jones stated,  “There was a lot of mourning, a lot of sorrow, and a lot of pain”.

Now these same men and women who work for LiUNA Local 79 are working to rebuild the World Trade Center.  This is a very special moment for all of them and they are proud to be a part of such a momentous project.  The world watched as the towers fell, now the world is watching as LiUNA and other unions are working to rebuild it.

Today LiUNA released a new series of videos focusing on several workers from Local 79 and Local 731 entitled “Renewing Lives—Rebuilding the World Trade Center“. Below is the opening video, a short but powerful remembrance of what happened and how we are rebuilding.

After you watch this video, you can see more in-depth video interviews of each member highlighted.  Click here to go to LiUNA’s YouTube channel and see all the interviews.

Labor and Community Activists Protest Senator Ayotte’s Vote on Gun Reform

One of the most controversial debates going on in Congress and throughout the country is the issue of gun reform legislation. Even among the NH Labor News fan club there is great and contentious debate. People have asked me, why is a labor union blog talking about gun reform? I along with members of the American Federation of Teachers feel that the gun issue is an issue labor should be talking about. It is a workplace safety issue.

It has been four months since 20 first graders and six educators were murdered at Sandy Hook elementary school. Those heroic educators were members of AFT. That direct connection has push AFT directly into the gun reform issue.

As all of you are probably aware the US Senate held their first vote on common sense comprensive gun reform legislation. Time and time again, in poll after poll American citizens overwhelmingly support universal background checks on all gun sales. The bill like so many in the Senate was filibustered by the Senate GOP. The vote, which was 54-46 failed to pass the 60 vote threshold to beat the filibuster.

After the vote, AFT President Randi Wiengarten released the following statement:

“Make no mistake—the NRA and the gun manufacturers won out today over the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of our children, families and communities. A government by the people and for the people must serve the American people and not the gun lobby.

“The tragic question facing us now is how many gun deaths will it take before Congress lives up to its basic responsibility to protect and serve the American people? Twenty-six children and teachers gunned down in Newtown, Conn. Thirty-two students and faculty killed at Virginia Tech. U.S. Rep. Gabby Gifford shot outside a supermarket. Thirteen students and educators brutally murdered at Columbine High School. Twelve people gunned down in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. Nearly 3,500 Americans killed by guns since Dec. 14—more than 50 of them children. The time for action is now.

“We applaud Sens. Manchin, Toomey, Feinstein, Blumenthal, Schumer, Kirk and Lautenberg for their leadership, as well as the other senators who voted for commonsense gun safety legislation today. AFT members admire their courage for standing up and doing what is right for our children and families.”

This vote drew ire from the local community, especially here in New Hampshire. NH GOP Senator Kelly Ayotte was one of the Senators who voted against this common sense legislation. This vote also showed the absolute disfunction of the US Senate. The filibuster rule must be changed. No other place does 46 votes beat 54.

Today I joined with other labor activists, former union members and community activists to show our distain for Senator Ayotte’s vote against universal background checks on all gun sales. Some of the people in the crowd including a State Rep who retired from New Hampshire Department of Health and Humans Department has seen gun violence first hand. She has been an outspoken advocate against domestic abuse and gun violence for as long as I have know her. In a recent rally by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns rally in North Carolina, Kit Grunelle highlighted the fact background checks help protect women of domestic violence. Background checks stop gun sales to those who have protective orders against them. “In states where a background check is required for every handgun sale, 38 percent fewer women are shot to death by intimate partners, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

Background Check VoteWe are calling on all Americans to contact their US Senators this week. See how your Senator voted. If they voted for the bill, call them and thank them for standing up for the safety and security of the American people. If they voted against the bill call them and tell them how disappointed you are in their vote and that you want them to reconsider their position. If they do not change their position explain to them that you will not be able to support them in their next election campaign. You can reach your senator by calling the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

We need to focus our efforts by focusing on the facts, not NRA propaganda. Background Checks do not impede our second amendment rights. It is a minor inconvenience at most that will help to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, and the mentally ill.

Looking Back Over the Last Year, What A Ride!

Where were you a year ago?  What were you doing? I do not remember the specifics however I remember watching the news and following on twitter for any news on the growing crowds in the Wisconsin State House.  It was a year ago when Governor Scott Walker took his extreme tea party agenda out on the working people of Wisconsin by repealing their rights to collective bargain.

Since then a like a cancer these anti-worker legislations have grown all across the United States.  After Wisconsin, Ohio attempted to repeal worker rights.  The workers in Ohio stood together and delivered over one million petitions leading to the successful overturn of the newly passed collective bargaining laws.  Not to be out done other tea party legislators took aim at unions.  In Maine, Governor LePage removed the Department of Labor’s lobby mural.

– James Imbrogno photo

Now New Hampshire is following right down the same path.  The New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O’Brien is pushing dozens of anti-worker bills.  These bills range from the repeal of collective bargaining to “Right To Work” to restrictions on bargaining articles.  Every single one of these bills is an attempt for the legislators to restrict the where and what unions can negotiate.  Just yesterday members of local unions gathered at the NH House to speak against one of the many Right To Work bills being revisited in this years session.  This after we spent all of last year fighting against Right To Work.  Thankfully we have a Governor who stands up for the middle class and for workers rights.  Without Gov. Lynch, Granite Staters would all be in the same situation as Wisconsin and Ohio right now.

After Gov. Walker repealed collective bargaining in Wisconsin, labor around the country suddenly took notice.  By the end 30,000 people were occupying the State House Rotunda. Maybe this was the punch in the face that labor needed to awake the sleeping giant that is labor unions.  While labor has always been there, now labor has risen again.  People are slowly seeing the value of collectively standing together.  This has worked for over 100 years for unions and now is beginning to take shape in the Occupy Movement that is sweeping the country.  The New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie has a signature at the end of all of his emails that sums it up perfectly: “Bargain Together or Beg Alone”.

Below is a video highlighting the events from Feb 2011 and the events surrounding the Wisconsin State House. 

JDRF Walk in Manchester this morning…


In the mist of an overcast Sunday morning we walked three miles to help raise money for the JDRF.  We walked down Elm Street and back up Commercial to the Fisher Cats Stadium.  Over 250 people join in the walk this year and together raised over 150,000 dollars.

Personally I would like to thank all of the people who donated to the JDRF in support of me. I helped to raise over $1250 and am only $250 away from my goal.  There are too many people to thank individually so I hope you all see this message.   Here are a couple of pictures take from this mornings walk.


If you have not donated or missed the links before, I have included my previous post. You can still donate to this years walk for the next two weeks.

  Previous Post        

This Sunday the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) will be holding their annual charity walk in Manchester at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.  Diabetes is one of the nations “Top Ten Killers”. It effects more that 28 million people nation wide or over 8% of the U.S Population.  Over 300,000 of these are people under the age of 20.  The bigger problem is that more than 1.9 million people are newly diagnosed with Diabetes every year.  According to the JDRF Diabetes effect nearly 285 million people around the world and is expected to reach 435 million by 2030 if we cannot find a cure.  Diabetes has been proven to lead to Heart Disease, Liver Disease, and Kidney Failure.

In 2007, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is an Auto-Immune disorder where your body begins to attack itself and eventually destroys you Pancreas.  Without the Pancreas you body cannot produce insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels.  For all Type 1 Diabetics this means they have to take supplemental insulin by either multiple injections or by insulin pump.  While supplemental insulin helps to control my blood sugar,  insulin is not a cure.  Until a cure is found I will continue to take injections prior to eating.

As a Union member I have been very active over the last few year.  After I was diagnosed, my Union was greatly influential in helping me to get my medical certifications back and return to work. I also work closely with the New Hampshire AFL-CIO in their continuing fight to protect the workers in New Hampshire and across the United States.

Now I am asking for a little help from you.  The JDRF is the leader in research for Type 1 Diabetes and research costs money.  The JDRF has helped to improve the lives of all Type 1 Diabetic with ground breaking research and development of new devices to help control sugar levels.  Right now they are in the trial phase of the “Artificial Pancreas” a insulin pump that will be able to give both insulin and glucose to maintain a steady normal blood sugar level.

I know that money is tight for everyone this year with the recession, but if you can give please do.  Even if you can only give $10 it will be appreciated.  Please go the this page, JDRF WALK DONATIONS, and pledge your support.  If you are interested in more information about Diabetes and the JDFR click here.  You can even sign up to walk with me in Manchester on Sunday or in you home state.

Thank you on behalf of all Type 1’s


Air Traffic Controller, Union Member, Activist, Philanthropist, Husband and Father, and Type 1 Diabetic

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