Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

USW Retiree Robert Avery Goes Extra Mile for Hillary Clinton

The day after Michelle Obama electrified the Democratic National Convention with her inspiring speech, retired USW member Robert Avery, who is a Hillary Clinton delegate to the Democratic National Convention this week, told me that he feels he has a special obligation to go beyond the call of duty to get the nominee elected.

That is because in 2008, Avery was a Hillary Clinton supporter before a virtually unknown Illinois senator named Barack Obama went to Selma, Ala., and met with the Alabama New South Coalition at a time when Avery was the group’s president. 

The organization endorsed Obama, so, of course, Avery did too. He recounts telling the young senator, “I let him know I was with Hillary.  I said I would support him until he fell out of the race.” In the end, that’s not what happened.

“So, now,” Avery told me yesterday, “I really feel like I owe it to Hillary to help her.”

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Obama Debunks Trump’s Politics Of Fear

Aaron Rupar

Aaron Rupar ThinkProgress

President Obama devoted part of his speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention to debunking the fearful brand of politics Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is selling to the American people.

“Ronald Reagan called America ‘a shining city on a hill.’ Donald Trump calls it ‘a divided crime scene’ that only he can fix,” Obama said. “It doesn’t matter to him that illegal immigration and the crime rate are as low as they’ve been in decades, because he’s not offering any real solutions to those issues. He’s just offering slogans, and he’s offering fear. He’s betting that if he scares enough people, he might score just enough votes to win this election.”

Illegal immigration and crime are two centerpieces of Trump’s campaign. Trump has asserted both are are worsening problems in the country, routinely saying things like, “A nation without borders is no nation at all” and “Crime is out of control, and rapidly getting worse.”

But the data and research provides no support for either notion. Studies show immigrants are no more likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans. Furthermore, the number of undocumented immigrants in the country actually peaked in 2007 and has remained relatively flat for the last half-decade.

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What A Party Platform Says, and Means

Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg Editor, Press Associates Union News

We were originally going to use this column to discuss how the two political party conventions reveal the soul – or lack of it – of the Democrats and the Republicans. But on second thought, and after reading through the entire texts of both, we’ve got a better source for that mantle: The parties’ platforms.

Yes, we know, party platforms are usually filed and forgotten. Indeed, even presidential nominees have been known on many occasions to disregard them during the campaign and to reverse course completely once they achieve office.

Workers have only to remember Barack Obama’s promises about renegotiating job-losing trade pacts – and what he did once he took office – to get that point.

Still, the platforms are an even better index, because they reflect not just the views of the nominee, but of the party faithful, and particularly of its officeholders. So reading the platforms will tell you – as it did us – what policies the parties intend to impose should they win.

For workers, it’s no contest. 

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‘No TPP’ Gets YUUGE Response At Democratic Convention

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

If you were watching the Democratic convention Monday night, you might have noticed a lot of “No TPP” signs in the crowd.

(By Nomiki Konst via Twitter)

These signs refer to the widespread opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). They were in evidence when Bernie Sanders took his place at the convention podium as the Monday keynote speaker, on national prime-time TV, facing what was probably his largest audience of the campaign.

Sanders talked in his speech about how his campaign and the Clinton campaign had a “significant coming together” over the content of the platform, saying, “we produced, by far, the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party.”

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Trumka, Indiana AFL-CIO Slam Trump's Pick of Pence for Republican VP Slot

Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg Editor, Press Associates Union News

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Indiana AFL-CIO President Brett Voorhies are slamming Donald Trump’s selection of incumbent Gov. Mike Pence, R-Ind., as the Republican vice presidential nominee this year. Trumka called Pence “the second-worst vice presidential pick in history.” He didn’t say who was first.

Trump announced the Pence pick in a tweet just before the GOP convention opened in Cleveland, then held a public press conference – which the business mogul dominated – on July 16. That event became awkward both because Trump left his running mate in the background, and then fumbled an answer on issues the two disagree upon.

The Pence pick proves Trump “does not stand with working families,” since Pence took strong anti-worker stands as governor and before that in Congress, Trumka said.

They included favoring jobs-losing “free trade” pacts, favoring Indiana’s enactment of a so-called “right to work” law, opposition to raising the minimum wage and campaigning to repeal Indiana’s prevailing wage for construction workers.

“Everything Donald Trump says shows he is desperate to be working people’s friend, but everything Donald Trump does proves he is our enemy...Mike Pence might be the right choice for Donald Trump, but he’s the wrong choice for America. We need leaders who will bring us together, not tear us apart,” Trumka said. 

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TRUMPENCE: The return on investment of a con, theft or fraud

TRUMPENCE: The return on investment of a con, theft or fraud

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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