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. 

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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.

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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.”

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Cleveland unions blast GOP on eve of their convention

Rick Nagin

Rick Nagin People's World

CLEVELAND - "The GOP platform does not represent the interests of working people," Harriet Applegate, executive secretary of the North Shore Federation of Labor told a well-attended press conference July 17, the day before the Republican National Convention was set to open here.

The event featured former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, now mounting a tough challenge for U.S. Senate against incumbent GOP Sen. Rob Portman, as well as three  workers impacted by Republican anti-labor policies.

"Portman has endorsed Trump," the presumptive GOP nominee for president "and served as the trade representative of Pres. George W. Bush," Strickland said.  "He voted for NAFTA, CAFTA and eight other trade agreements that cost 300,000 good-paying American jobs."

"The Koch Brothers have spent $32 million on TV ads" to get Portman re-elected, Strickland said, adding that Portman has also voted to defund Planned Parenthood and to oppose pay equity for women.  "Trump and Portman are both anti-worker and anti-women.

"They are both in the pockets of their corporate funders."

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Clinton Must Go Bold – and Go Left – For VP

Richard Eskow

Richard Eskow Writer, Host, "The Breakdown;" Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

Word is that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will announce her vice presidential choice on Friday, and rumors that she’s going with a “safe” pick should worry Democrats. In this political climate, a search for “safety” could put her candidacy in serious danger.

Change vs. the Status Quo

The GOP chose Mike Pence as its vice presidential nominee in part because his extremist views will reassure the Republican base. Pence is also a seasoned politician whose nomination is meant to reassure voters who worry that presidential nominee Donald Trump has no experience in statecraft or governance.

(Note to readers: Yes, I just used the words “Trump” and “statecraft” in the same sentence. It feels as strange to me as it does to you.)

Clinton’s needs are different. She has to energize and excite the Democratic base, along with millions of millennials who have never voted. She needs to bring excitement, and a sense of the new, to a campaign conspicuously lacking in those qualities.

Voters remain deeply dissatisfied with the status quo. Clinton’s biggest problem, and the greatest threat to her candidacy, is the fact that she’s seen as the candidate of the status quo.

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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?  

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