Some union members see a problem; others, who voted for Trump, don’t see a conflict
By TIM ROWDEN
Last week the Labor Tribune received a photo from a retired member of Ironworkers Local 396. It was a picture taken at the home of one of his neighbors, another union member who, while displaying a sign on his fence declaring “A Proud Union Family Lives Here,” also has a “Trump 2020 – Keep America Great” flag in his window.
Knowing that union members have strong feelings for and against the administration of President Donald Trump, we posted the photo on Facebook asking, “What’s wrong with this picture?” The responses were revealing.
Forty-three percent of union households voted for Donald Trump who has launched an all-out attack on unions and their members:
- Stacking the National Labor Relations Board with union-busting corporate lawyers.
- Defending “right-to-work.”
- Stacking the Supreme Court to get a favorable ruling in Janus v. AFSCME.
- Rescinding the Department of Labor’s Persuader Rule requiring companies to disclose anti-union legal activities.
- Rolling back safety regulations.
- Jamming through a massive tax giveaway for the rich, just to name a few.
Still, support among Trump’s base – and among some union members – remains strong. It’s worth examining why that is before the 2020 elections.
Here are some of the key responses to the photo, along with the replies they generated:
PRO-TRUMP OR ANTI-DEMOCRAT
- I don’t see a problem at all.
– Then you are the problem.
– So you like Trump and his goal to make RTW a law in all 50 states? Awesome.
- Unions need to back Trump – keep jobs in America.
- Living in Illinois, I’ve seen firsthand what Democrats can do to a state. I will never vote Democrat again.
– Come to Kansas and see what Republicans can do.
– But you think a Republican would do better? You’d vote for instant RTW legislation to be passed?
– Republicans don’t like us bro. Sleeping with the enemy of Labor.
– Come to Florida, where they loved cheap labor and still do.
– Vote progressive, not Democrat. Progressives truly support unions, and usually have a record of pro-union activism, even walking picket lines.
– If you like to throw your vote away and in effect to Trump, then vote progressive by all means.
– Illinois problem is pension obligations. That happened because of Republicans. Happened years ago and still haunts them. No Dems are not without fault, but Republicans want unions gone.
– The only way to get real change is to quit voting for the same party that only gives lip service to the cause.
– Hmmm, seems like the Republicans elected in Missouri are trying to kill unions. Goodbye PLA’s, destroying prevailing wages….
- Nothing wrong at all. I voted to stop sending American tax dollars to our enemy and to keep our military strong. We can fight the fight for our unions.
- There’s a lot more union Trump supporters than you think.– Race to the bottom! Bye-bye middle class!
- Brought mine and 2,000 other hard-working union jobs back to Granite City.
– Jobs that could’ve been brought back had the greedy owners not decided to maximize profits somewhere else. His tariffs are ultimately hurting our economy across the board, the 2,000 of you should’ve just showed up to the owners house and handled it yourselves.
– President Trump supports a National version of Right To Work. Honestly, what else needs to be said?
– Business owners are in business to make money. Our leaders must create and maintain a competitive environment to attract companies and job development. Going to someone’s house is not going to help.
– If you work at the mill then you should know that Trump’s big parade at U.S. Steel delayed the startup of the furnaces by one-two months. They wanted it to coincide, so it looked like the tariffs saved the mill. In reality, a year later, USS has already idled multiple furnaces around the country and the value of USS stock has dropped.
– We’re aware, it’s just super disappointing.
– Isn’t granite scheduled to shut down again over tariffs?
- Absolutely nothing (wrong with this picture) the Democratic Party has forgotten about the American people. Why else would they support illegal aliens and enact policies that drive jobs overseas?
- I wish I could say this surprises me. We still have a lot of work to do.
- Union workers can be stupid too.
- They aren’t VERY damn proud.
- Ignorance is NOT a virtue.
- A lot of people vote blind!
- Like a chicken voting for Col. Sanders.
- Trump and his supporters want to destroy Unions. We are being attacked every day, so wise up and vote with your wallet! Vote Democrat!
- They must have fallen off a ladder and landed on their heads.
- Wait till RTW comes around and Trump said he would sign it for all 50 states. Union brothers and sisters vote your paycheck.
- Missouri State workers became “Right to Work” a long time ago and it took them straight to the bottom. Missouri State workers were and may still be the lowest paid state workers in the nation. These are the workers who are providing vital services to our Veterans, mentally and physically disabled. Working to protect and serve in our dangerous prison systems. Nurses and therapist working with our states disabled. In our state parks trying to preserve and protect. These are jobs folks use to wait in line for and they now have to have job fairs and hire recruiters just to try and fill them. If you doubt what the impact of Right to Work can have, just ask a Missouri state employee.
- There’s someone shooting themselves in the foot.
- 27 Right To Work (until you die) states. All signed into law by RepubliCON governors. Mike Pence repealed Common Construction Wage (prevailing wage) in Indiana when he was governor. Both Trump and Pence are all for National Right To Work (until you die). No one is taking our guns, stop reading the NRA bullshit and stop watching FOX. Time to wake up. Union Strong. Trump/Pence…two scabs.
FRUSTRATED, HOPING FOR BETTER
- The Democratic party is nowhere near what it used to be. They are no longer for the working man. Hell I can’t think who is for the working man besides us union members.
– It ain’t Trump.
– Neither party cares about the working class, only uses them as props to gain votes.
– This is why labor needs to detach from a useless party and start embracing socialist movements again. We built everything we had with the far left and Democrats brought us nothing but compromise and failure.
– Bernie Sanders has a long history of supporting the working man.
- In my opinion we have way more in common than we see that we do. We seem to have stopped being accepting of each other’s differences. We have allowed the wedge issues to divide us. Discussion, listening and researching what is really happening is a must.