Every Citizen of Wisconsin is Paying $519 so Trump Could Have This Press Conference

Aaron Rupar

Aaron Rupar Reporter, ThinkProgress

President Trump celebrated and took credit for Foxconn’s pledge to build a major LCD plant in Wisconsin during a White House ceremony on Wednesday.

With Gov. Scott Walker (R), House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) by his side, Trump said that “if I didn’t get elected, [Foxconn Chairman Terry Gao] would not be spending $10 billion.”

“His great company has seen our — you know, you see exactly what I’m saying — our administration’s work to remove job-killing regulations — he’s been watching — to institute Buy American and Hire American, and all of those policies, and to pursue the steps necessary to revitalize American industry, including repealing and replacing Obamacare — we better get that done, fellas, please,” Trump said, according to the White House’s website.

While the plant will create about 3,000 jobs, Trump and Walker claim that when construction work is factored in, the project could create as many as 13,000. But those jobs come at a huge price. Before plans for the plant move forward, Wisconsin lawmakers will have to approve a public subsidy package of up to $3 billion.

Bloomberg reports that “[a]t $519 per citizen, it would have been cheaper to buy an iPhone for every man, woman and child in the midwestern state… Wisconsin is paying as much as $1 million per job, which will carry an average salary of $54,000.”

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel notes that the subsidy package is nearly 50 times larger than any other offered in state history, and “would total more than the combined yearly state funding used to operate the University of Wisconsin System and the state’s prison system.”

Specifics of the deal aside, it’s unclear whether Trump should even be taking credit for it. At far back as late 2013, Foxconn was planning to open a manufacturing plant in the U.S. The company, which has a poor record on workers’ rights issues, struck a tentative a deal with the state of Pennsylvania to build a plant there in November of that year, but plans fell through. Talks with Pennsylvania continued until early this year.

But Trump — who hasn’t shepherded a single major piece of legislation through Congress yet and is hungry for wins — touted the deal anyway.

Wisconsin Rep. Jimmy Anderson (D) views things differently than Walker and Trump. In a press release headlined “Foxconn Should be Paying Wisconsin to Access the Greatest Workforce on Earth,” Anderson writes that “Wisconsin taxpayers should not be subsidizing private corporations at the expense of our children, schools, and roads.”

“The Republican-controlled legislature and Governor Walker have consistently asked you to tighten your belt or have rejected other opportunities to create family-sustaining jobs, but when a multinational corporation wants a multibillion-dollar handout, Governor Walker more than bends over backwards,” Anderson continues.

The Foxconn deal is far from the first time Trump has taken credit for job announcements that were in the works well before he took office. As ThinkProgress detailed in April, Trump did the same thing following announcements from Intel, Exxon, Toyota, Charter, Ford, and SoftBank.

On the other hand, Trump was silent last week when Carrier laid off 338 employees at its Indianapolis plant — cuts that came months after then-President-elect Trump held a news conference at the plant and applauded himself for striking a deal that provided the company $7 million in state incentives to save about 800 jobs from outsourcing.

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Reposted from ThinkProgress

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work