Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Donald Trump: The Divider

The man Republicans will nominate this week as their presidential candidate sees himself as a U.S. generalissimo. Donald Trump would be, he said last week, the law-and-order president.  He’d be a tough guy at a time when crime is down. He’d strong arm at a time when reconciliation is required. 

What Trump didn’t say, because he lacks the insight to know it, is that he’d also be the nation’s most self-involved, egotistical president ever. Rather than bearing the important mantle of consoler-in-chief after tragedies like those in Orlando, Dallas and Baton Rouge, a President Trump would be Tweeter-in-chief, bragging about how he, and only he, had predicted it would happen.

Precious few Americans want a bully as a leader, someone who barks, “You’re fired,” who calls people names, ridicules the physically handicapped, and builds walls between races. They want a president who brings people together, who inspires, who offers hope and who can give solace to the nation in times of crisis. All of that was missing from Trump’s responses to national shocks like the gunning down of 49 people at the LGBT club in Orlando, the massacre of five police officers in Dallas, and the killings by police officers of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Trump’s reactions showed he’s a businessman with a heart of stone, a man who would widen the divides of this country. 

More ...

GOP Convention Nurtures Nonsense, But Outside, People Talk Issues

Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg Editor, Press Associates Union News

CLEVELAND (PAI)--Inside the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump made himself "grate again" on our nerves.

Outside the convention hall, people were interesting, thought-provoking and in some cases, inspiring.

The first time Trump came on stage, it was with highly orchestrated special effects, appropriate for a presidential candidate hiding his actual goal: capturing the White House to institute polices that would further enrich billionaires like himself.

He walked onto the convention platform from the rear, emerging through a cloud of artificial fog. Through the magic of stage lighting, a shining halo surrounded his silhouette. As the music swelled, a podium slowly rose from the ground as Trump came into sharper view.

All of this was for the purpose of Trump giving a speech to introduce his wife, Melania, who, in turn, gave a speech introducing Trump. Later, it turned out that whoever wrote the speech stole a lot of it from a speech given years ago by Michelle Obama.

The show went downhill from there.

More ...

Big Headlines for a Tiny Wage Hike

Sam Pizzigati

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

Lloyd Blankfein, one of America’s most powerful bankers, a few years ago told a reporter that his Goldman Sachs financial colossus was doing “God’s work.”

That offhand comment would provoke an instant uproar. An embarrassed Blankfein had to quickly calm the waters. He meant his quip, the Goldman CEO assured us all, only as a joke.

Last week, one of Blankfein’s high-finance peers, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, made some headlines of his own. In a widely heralded New York Times op-ed, Dimon proudly announced that his bank is making a major move to “create more widely shared prosperity.”

JPMorgan, Dimon declared, will be raising the minimum pay of 18,000 of the bank’s workers to “between $12 and $16.50 an hour.”

Every business, the JPMorgan chief pronounced, needs to do its part to “address economic inequality.” As a nation, he added, “we must find ways” to help Americans “move up the economic ladder.”

Is Jamie Dimon serious about all this? Of course not. Like his CEO rival Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon is only kidding. Modern banks like JPMorgan Chase don’t “address inequality.” They create it.

More ...

Clinton Uses AFSCME Speech To Praise Unions, Rip Trump

Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg Editor, Press Associates Union News

LAS VEGAS (PAI)—Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton brought a hard-hitting speech to 6,000 AFSCME delegates, meeting in convention in Las Vegas, Nev. She alternated in her remarks between praising workers and unions and ripping her GOP foe, businessman Donald Trump.

Clinton’s July 19 speech was greeted with roars from the crowd, whose delegates represent the AFL-CIO’s largest union. Earlier, they unanimously re-elected incumbent President Lee Saunders, who introduced Clinton, for a second term.

 And in turn, Clinton thanked Saunders for making her party’s platform even more progressive than it originally was. Saunders helped shepherd key planks – including one denouncing so-called “free trade” pacts, without naming names – through the platform-drafting process. Democrats will adopt the revised platform at their convention in Philadelphia.

Clinton drew guffaws when she called the GOP convention in Cleveland “surreal” and compared it to the movie The Wizard of Oz. “You draw back the curtain, and there’s Donald Trump!” she said.

But she also warned AFSCME, and other workers, not to let Trump con them with “tough talk.”

More ...

Steelworkers Achieve Historic Win By Unionizing Doctors In Minnesota

Larry Sillanpa

Larry Sillanpa Editor, Duluth Labor World

In an historic organizing victory, medical professionals – including medical doctors – at the Lake Superior Community Health Center (LSCHC) in Duluth, Minn., and Superior, Wis., have ratified their first contract and are now members of Steelworkers Local 9460.

The 11-member unit at the center, whose members provide comprehensive primary care and dental services for low-income communities, includes physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and behavioral health therapists. 

The victory and contract ratification makes the LSCHC staffers the first such bargaining unit in the Steelworkers, and the first in Minnesota, to include physicians and mid-level health care providers as union members. The American Federation of Teachers have also organized a doctors’ unit at an Oregon hospital, possibly the only other MDs unit in the U.S.

In the end, the Minnesota doctors’ desire to have a seat at the table and a voice in the workplace is no different than that of any other group of workers, said Dr. Emily Onello, one of three medical doctors in the group.

More ...

More Than a Number

More Than a Number

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?  


 To submit a blog to Union Matters, e-mail it to bstack@usw.org. Keep it to 250 words or fewer. You MUST include your full name, hometown, and state. You may attach a photograph of yourself. Please include a phone number. This WILL NOT be published. Posting any given blog is within the discretion of the USW. No blog using foul language (this is a family site), false information (we don’t want to get sued), or unnecessary personal attacks (again, we don’t want to get sued) will be used. Wait a reasonable period of time, then blog again!

More ...