(Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers (USW) International released
the following statement today regarding the 2016 presidential race:
Attempts by Donald Trump to cast himself as worker-friendly should be
taken in the context of a candidate opposed to raising the minimum wage
and refusing to bargain with his own employees.
Globally, workers are fighting against multi-national corporations
promoting a race to the bottom with wages, and here we have one of the
richest men in the world saying that wages are too high here in the
In fact, this is a candidate who, when asked about the auto industry,
advocated devastating families and communities by shutting down plants
and moving jobs to lower-wage states.
While we welcome the much needed focus and discussion about trade and
its imbalance that this campaign has brought to the foreground, we
aren't going to fall for the kind of bait and switch that is being
played out by Trump.
Trump isn't real on this issue, but he has figured out a sales pitch
that rings true with the public because so many Americans know
instinctively that our current trade laws hurt working families.
Trump criticizes companies like Apple and Ford for making their
products overseas, but his own signature line of dress clothes are
produced in low-wage countries like China, Mexico and Bangladesh.
Nobody is more confused by this candidate’s say one-thing-do-another
approach than the 500 hotel workers at the Trump International Hotel in
Las Vegas who voted last December to join the Culinary Workers Union.
Trump refuses to bargain with them, even after more than a dozen
objections that were filed with the NLRB were either withdrawn or
dismissed, and the union was certified as a bargaining agent.
Not surprising, Trump has supported laws to weaken unions and has
worked at every turn to divide Americans along lines of race, ethnicity
While the USW is not making an endorsement in the Democratic race,
the union is comfortable with both candidates. Besides better wages and
collective bargaining rights for workers, the USW believes the Democrats
are on the right side of working-family issues such as taxes, health
care and trade.
The USW sees Trump’s tax plan as one benefiting millionaires and
billionaires at the expense of the middle class where the top tenth of
one percent would get more tax relief than the bottom 60 percent of
American taxpayers combined.
Also, the USW is troubled by Trump’s promise to end the Affordable
Care Act when his plans for a replacement are either vague or
nonexistent, and the ideas he has proposed would increase costs and
reduce the number of people who are covered.
Social Security is another issue on which Trump cannot be trusted. He
has referred to the program as a Ponzi scheme and has in the past
called for it to be privatized.
Even issues such as trade where it could appear that Trump’s
positions might align with working people, there is solid reason for
skepticism. He may have the right talking points, but his actions don’t
back up his words.
The USW has been in the forefront of the fight on trade. We have
witnessed the various trade agreements that have been put forward over
the past decades and the harm these agreements have inflicted on the
American work force and our economy. We have learned how to seek allies
and build coalitions in this struggle, and we know who our friends are.
Too much is at stake in the upcoming election to allow issues most
important to working American families to become vehicles of deceit.
That is why the USW cannot consider endorsing Donald Trump as President
of the United States.
The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in a
wide range of industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper,
oil refining and the service and public sectors.