Faux-Populist Trump Wages All-Out War On American Workers

United Steelworkers Local 1999 president Chuck Jones joked Friday, "I was not offered a job as secretary of labor. That's off the table." (Screenshot: CNN)

By Lauren McCauley for Common Dreams. President-elect Donald Trump, a supposedly populist candidate who rose to power on promises made to frustrated American workers, has now seemingly launched what Politicois describing as an outright “war on unions.” Labor leaders and advocates across the nation are rallying in support of United Steelworkers Local 1999 president Chuck Jones, after Trump publicly attacked the Indiana union leader for calling him out for lying about the number of Carrier jobs the incoming president claimed to have saved from being outsourced to Mexico. “An attack on [Jones] is an attack on all working people,” Richard Trumka, president of the nation’s largest union federation AFL-CIO, declared Thursday. The hashtag #ImWithChuck has drawn a groundswell of support for Jones, including from national labor groups and prominent progressive politicians.

Dakota Access Foes Call On AFL-CIO To Retract Support Of Pipeline

Vasu Abhiraman protests the AFL-CIO’s endorsement of the Dakota Access Pipeline in front of the labor union’s headquarters./Photo by Brendan Orsinger

By Mark Hand for DC Media Group – The AFL-CIO is coming under attack from labor groups and their supporters angry about the organization’s support of the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline through Native American land in North Dakota. Demonstrators stood outside the AFL-CIO’s headquarters in Washington, DC, on Sept. 19 calling on the union federation to renounce its support for the oil pipeline project.

Newsletter: Labor Day Time To Build Worker Power

Low Wage Protest

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. Private-sector workers who are members of a union have fallen from 1 in 3 workers in the 1950s to about 1 in 20 today. Politics is about power and the loss of organized worker power has meant a loss in political power for all workers and a loss of wealth, income and benefits. In recent years, there have been strong signs that labor is getting more organized and militant in fighting for worker rights. They have linked worker issues to other issues, e.g. racial injustice, climate change and creating stronger communities; and are showing signs of resurrection. Recent years have seen aggressive attacks against workers: pension funds are raided, health benefits are cut or ended, the right to collective bargaining is destroyed and social services are cut. This is dramatic and needs to be reversed.

Labor’s Neoliberal Caucus: Work With Corporations, Don’t Fight Them

Hillary Clinton with SEIU members in 2007. SEIU on Flickr

By Warren Heyman & Andrew Tillett-Saks for Jacobin. Democrats have historically been the grudging partners of the labor movement, the more willing of the two major political parties to make concessions when pressured. Labor has thus often taken a more thoughtful and calculating approach to neoliberal Democrats, recognizing their distinct interests but maneuvering strategically at arm’s length to partner when possible. The AFL-CIO’s decision to wait to endorse Clinton until she defeated Bernie Sanders is an example of this more clear-eyed calculation. By contrast, the breakaway caucus unions represent a new way of dealing with these types of politicians, shifting from strategic alliances to sycophantic servitude. In pledging allegiance to Clinton so immediately and so fervently, the four breakaway unions appear to have lost the ability to identify labor’s own interests and enemies.