Election 2016: Members Speak Out

Ric Ramirez
Local 105

Ric Ramirez, 40, of Bettendorf, Iowa, a veteran with the U.S. Marines, is a member of Local 105 at Alcoa’s Davenport aluminum facility, which employs over 2,500 people. The Davenport plant produces automotive sheet aluminum and is the hub of Alcoa’s multi-billion dollar aerospace business. Initially a Bernie Sanders supporter, he is now backing Hillary Clinton for president.

“This is an historical election. Having a first African-American president maybe followed by the first female president shows how much growth we’ve had as a country. It really does.

“Hillary Clinton has some things that Donald Trump doesn’t have: experience and a proven track record.

“She is definitely qualified. She has been in the political arena for the last 25 plus years, not only with her husband, but in her local community, when she was in college, things of that nature. She’s been doing this a long time.

“I like that she supports working-class people. That’s really important.  

“We’re losing jobs left and right in manufacturing. We need someone to step in there and really curb foreign trade policies. We need to get people working again, and able to send their kids to college again.

“She stands with us. She does not support the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is huge, especially for Steelworkers, for all workers.

“People don’t understand what’s going on in the big scope of things. All they do is watch Fox News and never switch to CNN. They don’t understand there are a lot of things going on that are scary, really scary.

“A person like Hillary has so much experience and she has been friends with Steelworkers for so long that it makes me say, ‘OK. She understands electricians, plumbers, policeman, teachers and nurses.’ They all have to send their kids to school. They need to protect their retirement, their pension. There needs to be Social Security there for them. We have all put in. I think she gets that.

“Hillary does not support the Trans-Pacific Partnership. That’s pretty huge to anyone who understands the TPP and NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement.) I hope she sticks to it.

“If she completely stands by her word and completely distances herself from the TPP and breaks it up as much as possible, that gets us pay increases and job security.

“You can’t be a consumer-based economy if the people in your economy don’t have jobs. We can’t buy houses, send our kids to college, or buy TVs.

“We have a little sword in a big fight. At least she can even the playing field, and that’s what we need.”

Posted In: Union Matters