Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

USW President Leo W. Gerard and USW Member Jim Savage Discuss Clinton and Trade on Eve of Democratic National Convention

I was with USW member Jim Savage – and about 500 other union members from across the country – at a hotel meeting room in Philadelphia last night when AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka fired us up to promote our values these next few months.

“We will work together, we will march together, and come November, we will win together,” Trumka said to cheers from the crowd.

To do that, Trumka said each person in the room had to talk to union brothers and sisters about Hillary Clinton.

More ...

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.

More ...

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.

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 ...

Talk About Entitled!

Talk About Entitled!

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 ...