Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Labor Organizes a Congressional Win

On Tuesday in Western Pennsylvania, a novice candidate, a 33-year-old Democrat who had never before run for office, upset an experienced politician who President Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. all stumped for and who received more than $10 million from dark money groups and the  Republican Party.

Not only that, the rookie did it in a congressional district that was gerrymandered to elect Republicans for life, a district that went for Trump, Mitt Romney and John McCain.

It was stunning.

Democrat Conor Lamb defeated Republican Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania’s 18th District, which had sent a Republican to Congress for the past 15 years.

The shocker resulted from a winning combination. Organized labor worked for the candidate who pledged to work for labor. That candidate, of course, was Conor Lamb.

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Pennsylvania GOP’s last chance to keep gerrymandered map goes up in smoke

Addy Baird

Addy Baird Think Progress

The United States Supreme Court declined to hear a request from Republican legislators in Pennsylvania who wanted the court to block a new congressional map in the state. It’s the second time the high court has rejected the case, and there were no noted dissents.

The decision means that Pennsylvania’s upcoming May primaries in the state’s new districts will go forward without delay, and the new map is likely a boon for Democrats come general elections this fall. The deadline to qualify to run for the redrawn seats is Tuesday.

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court struck down the state’s congressional map earlier this year, determining that the map, drawn in 2011, violated the state’s constitution. The map was one of the most egregious examples of gerrymandering — a strategy of drawing districts in outlandish ways in an effort to elect more members of one party — in the county’s history, as Marc Stier, the director of Pennsylvania’s Budget and Policy Center, put it in an interview with ThinkProgress last week.

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After Years of Stealing American Trade Secrets and Jobs, China Must Face Consequences

From the Alliance for American Manufacturing

In response to China's lengthy record of intellectual property rights (IPR) violations, President Trump initiated actions on Thursday that are designed to hold Beijing accountable. The actions include proposed tariffs, a case at the World Trade Organization, and an investigation into Chinese investments in the United States.

The announcement comes after an August order Trump signed that directed the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to investigate China under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. A recent USTR report found that "the protection and enforcement of trade secrets in China is a serious problem" and highlighted concerns with the Chinese government and military infiltrating American computer systems "for the purpose of providing commercial advantages to Chinese enterprises."

Violations of IPR by Beijing cost American jobs. American companies are restricted from exporting to China. The alignment of innovation, design, and production of advanced technology products becomes grossly distorted, and U.S.-based companies lose market share. 

A new Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) resource outlines the need for action due to years of China's forced technology transfer, discriminatory licensing restrictions, state-coordinated technology acquisition, and cyber-theft. 

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Low-Wage Workers, Progressive Dems Start Push for National Minimum Wage Hike

Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg Editor, Press Associates Union News

Cynthia Murphy wants a raise. Progressive Democrats in the U.S. House want to get it for her.

Murphy, a well-spoken African-American woman with a daughter in college, has toiled at the Burger King in the Pentagon’s underground food mall for a decade. She earns $9.50 an hour and hasn’t had a raise, ever.

She’s had to take a second job to make ends meet, “and I use food stamps and Section 8” public housing subsidies, she adds. She also borrowed $5,000 so her daughter could start at a local college.

Raising her pay to $15 an hour over seven years, which is what the Dems want, would help her – and millions of other working women – a lot.

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New Poll Finds Republican Voters Strongly Back Trump’s Action on Steel Imports

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch Digital Media Director, Alliance for American Manufacturing

Seventy percent of GOP voters support the president’s steel and aluminum tariffs.

The takes around President Trump’s decision to act on steel and aluminum imports have, as they say, been hot.

For an issue that typically is confined to policy wonks, Trump’s trade action dominated the airwaves and editorial pages for days. But missing from most of the coverage has been any real insight as to how Trump’s decision is being received among voters (along with nuance on what the tariffs will actually do — click here for more on that).

Now we have the first bit of data. On Wednesday, Morning Consult/Politico revealed the results of a new poll of 1,997 registered voters, finding that a plurality — 41 percent — support the tariffs, while 35 percent oppose them.

Not surprisingly, there’s a strong party breakdown to the numbers.

On the Democratic side, 54 percent oppose the action. About 25 percent of Democrats support the tariffs; that number drops to 22 percent when Democrats are told of Trump’s support for them.

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Union Matters

Tariffs Can Lift Up America

From the AFL-CIO

For years, America’s labor movement has called for targeted measures to counteract trade violations by China, which has used cybertheft, discriminatory policies and illegal government subsidies to systematically undermine U.S. technologies and intellectual property and gain unfair advantages in trade.

“Tariffs aren’t an end goal, but an important tool to end trade practices that kill American jobs and drive down American pay,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

America and our allies can and should employ tariffs to strategically target bad actions by trade partners when diplomacy fails.

China routinely has used cybertheft, discriminatory policies and illegal government subsidies to gain anti-competitive advantages that  harm America’s industries, including aerospace products, computer technologies, movies, steel and aluminum, as well as other critical technologies and intellectual property.

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