Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Donald Destructo

Donald Trump has perfected the swagger and boast of a professional wrestler.

While a guy like World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Vince McMahon is full of fake bluster and brashness for the sake of TV ratings, Donald Trump is the real McCoy: A reckless bully.  

That violent, provocative behavior makes Trump far too dangerous to get anywhere near nuclear codes. For Americans who want peace and security, not war, this man is too risky to inhabit the White House.   

That’s what 50 former national security officials whose careers span more than four decades said in a letter last week. They are Republicans. They include a former director of the CIA, the first director of national intelligence, and two former secretaries of homeland security. They warned Trump would be treacherous as president.  

And that was before Trump suggested in a speech last week that “Second Amendment” supporters assassinate Hillary Clinton if she’s elected so she can’t nominate judges to the Supreme Court. 

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Fight for $15 Convention Votes To Continue Drive Beyond 2016 Election

Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg Editor, Press Associates Union News

Some 3,000 fast food, retail, warehouse and other low-income workers from around the nation, representing the nationwide Fight for 15 And A Union movement, have voted to continue their drive far beyond this year’s election. And they’ve linked economic and racial injustice together.

In addition, the movement plans demonstrations at the sites of the three presidential debates. And it will stage another nationwide fast-food walkout on Sept. 12 as part of what organizers call a “moral revival.” The last fast-food strike, on April 14, saw workers at 320 cities walk out. Workers in another 60 cities worldwide also struck in sympathy.  

Encouraged and supported by Service Employees President Mary Kay Henry and Moral Mondays movement leader the Rev. William Barber, the delegates also took time out from their conclave to march through downtown Richmond, Va., site of their meeting. Dozens of United Food and Commercial Workers joined them.

In a direct message to the two major political parties, the marchers’ main chant was, “If you want our vote, come get our vote!” by supporting their cause.

They chose Richmond, Fight for 15 said, because it was the capital of the Confederacy – and because state governments of the old Confederacy have been the most-resistant to workers’ rights to a decent wage and to unions.

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Chris Christie Vetoes Yet Another Voter Registration Bill

Kira Lerner Political Reporter, Think Progress

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) vetoed two bills on Thursday that would have made it easier for state residents to cast a ballot, including one that would have automatically registered voters when they get or renew a driver’s license.

The second-term governor and Donald Trump surrogate rejected the automatic registration bill, calling it a “cocktail of fraud” because it would “almost certainly register ineligible voters.”

“This bill should be called ‘the Voter Fraud Enhancement and Permission Act,’” he said in his veto message.

Also on Thursday, Christie vetoed a bill that would have allowed 17-year-old New Jersey residents to vote in primaries if they turn 18 by the time of the general election. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia currently allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries in order to increase political engagement.

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West Virginia Judge Temporarily Halts State Right-to-Work Law

Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg Editor, Press Associates Union News

A West Virginia county judge has temporarily halted the Mountain State’s so-called “right to work” law, which the right wing GOP-run legislature enacted last year. The law was supposed to take effect this summer.

After a hearing in Kanawha County Circuit Court in the state capital of Charleston, Judge Jennifer Bailey issued a temporary injunction against the statute. She said postponing it would not materially hurt the state. She’ll hold a full hearing on its legality within 90 days.

Right-to-work laws are a favorite cause of big business, the radical right and their GOP political puppets nationwide.

The laws ban unions from negotiating contract clauses that say workers in a covered workplace must pay either union dues or – if they object – agency fees which cover only the costs of collective bargaining and contract enforcement.

Their practical impact is to make workers “free riders,” by sticking unions with the bill for bargaining and protecting them, but without the revenue to do so. As a result, RTW laws weaken unions’ impact and workers’ pay and benefits.

The West Virginia AFL-CIO and ten unions separately sued in the Kanawha court after state lawmakers passed, and Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed, the RTW law. It made West Virginia the 26th right-to-work state. Several months ago, unions sued to stop it.

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Two Peas in a Pod

Two Peas in a Pod

Union Matters

Millennials and the Deconstruction of the Two Party System

Richard Cucarese

Richard Cucarese Rapid Response Coordinator, USW Local 4889

The unending folly of our presidential election recently had some eye opening revelations when certain factions of delegates on both sides called for a major revamping of both parties when their conventions took place in July.  Although protests at the RNC in Cleveland were sparse, there was still an ongoing tension between the old guard, the Tea Party and the Frankenstein, nightmare candidate come to life, Donald Trump, who remarkably thought that making America great again is done by running the narrative that the country is in dark dangerous times.  What he fails to mention is that if the country is on course for caving into the abyss, it’s been exacerbated by the 1% of which he’s a card carrying member.

Notwithstanding the calamity in the GOP, the DNC certainly had nothing to gloat about either as they and the mainstream media did everything in their power to squash the contentious nature inside, nor cover the discord taking place outside the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia, erecting over four miles of barricades to keep thousands of protesters at bay and making sure that press coverage was nearly nonexistent.  Many in the crowds outside of the arena believed Secretary Clinton and the DNC Chairperson, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, were the chief orchestrators of these instances. 

Both parties have become reprehensibly complacent, whittling their constituencies down to niche groups laser focused on one dimensional issues, while consistently pandering to the lobbyists of big business, Wall Street and the banks.   This has left massive swaths of the population to fend for themselves while Congress passes merciless legislation, such as the free trade agreements, which have pillaged our manufacturing base and sent millions of Americans into the ranks of the impoverished or worse.

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