Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

USW Local Union President Terry Howard Talks About Hillary Clinton and Jobs

On the first day of the Democratic National Convention, as a half dozen labor leaders including AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka took the stage and as the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) stressed making it in America, USW Local 235A President Terry Howard talked to me about Hillary Clinton and jobs. 

Howard, 62, president of USW Local 235A for 18 years, is a delegate from Texas to the Democratic National Convention, and in addition to those duties is spending the week in Philadelphia with a group of Steelworkers telling every Democrat they find about labor’s needs. He came to Philly as a Bernie Sanders delegate. But like Bernie and his party, he is now backing Hillary Clinton.

The Democrats made clear their support for labor when they gave significant time to Trumka, Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, and half a dozen other labor leaders, people who strive to improve the lives of working people.

For Howard, from Corpus Christi, Texas, and me these speeches Monday night followed a jobs and manufacturing event we attended at the Philadelphia Museum of Art conducted by AAM.

 

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GOP Platform: Bad for Workers

Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg Editor, Press Associates Union News

CLEVELAND (PAI)—To nobody’s surprise, the Republican Party platform, adopted at its convention in Cleveland, backs a national so-called “right to work” law, slams federal workers and trashes the National Labor Relations Board for using federal minimum wage and overtime pay laws to deny “flexibility” to businesses. And it wants to abolish the federal minimum wage, letting states set their own.

 “We support the right of states to enact right to work laws and call for a national law to protect the economic liberty of the modern workforce,” the GOP says. Those are code words for a national RTW law. And the GOP stops just short of demanding abolition of federal unions.

The platform, adopted by delegates who also made business mogul Donald Trump their presidential nominee, also pledges to renegotiate trade pacts in favor of U.S. interests – while not specifying which U.S. interests – and has a strict right-to-life section with no exceptions.

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Sen. Jackson Silent on Wage Theft Charges as Group Delivers 10,000 Name Petition

“We only asked for what is ours and for what the law says: that we should get paid and that the supervisor stop abusing people. We don’t deserve to lose our jobs for speaking out.” -Valentin, blacklisted worker from Jackson’s farm

NC Senator Brent Jackson has been the target of thousands of emails, tweets, and Facebook messages over the past few weeks, all in support of seven farmworkers who came forward and spoke out about wage theft, unjust firing, and retaliation on his farm.

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Progressive Activists Deliver Tax Return Petitions To Trump Tower

Terrance Heath

Terrance Heath Online Producer, Campaign for America’s Future

More than 400,000 Americans signed a petition calling on Donald Trump to release his tax returns. On Tuesday, progressive activists delivered those signatures to Trump Tower.

Progressive activists showed up at Donald Trump’s doorstep on Tuesday with a simple demand for Trump: Release your tax returns. It’s a pretty simple request, and not all that unusual. For the last 40 years, every major presidential nominee has done it. In 2012, Trump even went on Fox News to prod Mitt Romney to release his returns, saying “Mitt has to get this returns out.” Hillary Clinton released forms for every year going back to 1977 — 39 years.

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Is Donald Trump Serious About Trade, Or Anything?

Dean Baker

Dean Baker Co-Director, Author, Center for Economic and Policy Research

One of the main themes of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has been the idea of getting tough with our trading partners. He has attacked President Obama and his predecessors for negotiating bad deals. Trump promises to get tough with the Chinese, Mexicans, and other trading partners and thereby bring jobs back to the United States.

While many working people would agree that recent trade deals have not benefited them, they have good cause to be skeptical about Trump’s get tough promises. Most immediately his vice-presidential pick, Governor Mike Pence, has been a strong supporter of NAFTA and other trade deals. But choosing vice-presidents with differing views certainly has precedents.

More importantly, it is not clear what Trump thinks he is going to do when he gets tough with the Chinese and the other bad guys in his story. It’s true that China and Mexico and many other countries are running trade surpluses with the United States. And it’s also true that these surpluses have cost the jobs of millions of workers. In some cases these workers have been able to find new jobs, generally at much lower pay. However in many cases these workers remain unemployed and end up dropping out of the labor force altogether.

The trade deficit poses an especially severe problem in the context of secular stagnation: a situation in which the economy faces a sustained shortfall in demand. In the years prior to the collapse of the housing bubble most economists did not take the idea of a secular stagnation seriously. Their view was that if we saw a loss of demand due to a trade deficit, we could simply make it up with increased demand from consumption or investment spending.

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A Study in Contrasts

A Study in Contrasts

Union Matters

Dunce-Old Trump

Leo Toribio

Leo Toribio Pittsburgh, Pa.

Has there ever been a candidate for the presidency so poorly educated, so oblivious, so idiotic as the Dunce-old Trump?

Trump stated that "laziness is a trait in blacks, I believe that!" 

If black people are lazy, why did white American farmers import slaves from Africa?  

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