AFL-CIO Starts Direct Mail Anti-Trump Drive with 150k Flyers in Ohio, Pennsylvania

Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg Editor, Press Associates Union News

The AFL-CIO opened another front on its 2016 general election drive with a mass mailing of 150,000 flyers, exposing the business record of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to union voters and their families in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The flyers will later go to union voters and families in other battleground states – Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire and North Carolina – every week until Election Day. They highlight Trump’s business bankruptcies and his anti-worker business practices.

“Forget the crazy things he says. If Donald Trump runs the country like he runs his businesses, then we’re in big trouble,” says Matt Schanbacher of Bricklayers Local 1 on one.

The flyers are part of a multi-pronged worker effort in the 2016 campaign. Separately, Steelworkers Vice President Fred Redmond is reminding voters the business mogul favors so-called Voter ID and similarly restrictive laws, designed to disenfranchise them.

“Donald Trump: In it for himself,” says the headline on one of two flyers. Quoting news stories about Trump’s business practices, it points out his hotels declared bankruptcy four times, that his branded goods are manufactured in low-wage nations overseas, that he stiffs his contractors in the U.S. and that he wants to kill unions.

That last assertion, taken from a news story in the right-wing Washington Examiner, explains “Trump strongly supports so-called ‘right-to-work’ laws that drive down wages, weaken benefits, and can completely wipe out unions.”

The other flyer, The art of the cheat, provides more detail. It notes Trump stiffed contractors 253 times just at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, N.J. It cites 1,400+ lawsuits, including cases “alleging Trump failed to pay workers for their labor. Carpenters, plumbers, painters and small business owners were repeatedly told to take pennies on the dollar or face court battles.” And “Since 2005, Trump and his businesses have been cited for 24 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act,” the U.S. minimum wage/overtime pay law, it adds.

And that flyer includes Trump’s 2005 blog saying “outsourcing is not a terrible thing…even if it means Americans lose jobs.”

“Direct mail is one of the best tried and true ways we get information about elections to our members,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka explained. “Working families trust their unions more than any other source of information, and we take that seriously. Getting this material in our members’ mailboxes makes a critical difference in educating them about why Donald Trump and other anti-worker candidates are wrong for America.”

Meanwhile, USW’s Redmond told radio talk show host Leslie Marshall that Trump joins other Republicans in attacking voting rights. Those so-called “Voter ID” laws are an attempt “to rig elections,” Redmond said, by disenfranchising minorities, students, women and workers.

“The trend is always that when people vote, the Democrats win,” said Redmond. “When the turnout is small, the Republicans win. So it’s definitely not to the Republicans’ advantage to do what we should be doing as a country: Making it easier for people to vote. Suppressing the vote is to their strategic advantage. So they’re doing everything they can to make sure fewer people vote in this country.”

Trump has already taken his own “fraud” tack, alleging that if he loses in November, it’s because of fraud and urging his supporters to go monitor polls in minority neighborhoods. His most recent target is Philadelphia, a Democratic bastion which is 45 percent African-American.

“It’s almost reminiscent of back-door Jim Crow days in the South, where…White supremacists showed up on election day in force and intimidated blacks not to come to the polls,” Redmond said of Trump’s warnings about Philadelphia. He told Marshall that Trump’s monitors plan is “obviously nothing but a blatant intimidation tactic.”

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Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Press Associates

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