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U.S. unions warn Trump: Don’t even think about it

Eric Lee's Blog - 11 hours 1 min ago

A few days ago, the president of the AFL-CIO (the US’s national trade union centre) issued a powerful statement.

The federation “categorically rejects all threats to the peaceful transition of power” said Richard Trumka, a former leader of the mine workers union. “The labor movement,” he said, “simply will not allow any breach of the U.S. Constitution or other effort to deny the will of the people.”

Trumka’s comments came in response to increasingly threatening noises being made by Donald Trump in which he threatened that regardless of the results of the election on 3 November, he would not be ceding power to his opponent Joe Biden, ever.

Like most observers, Trumka is convinced the Biden is likely to win the election, and concluded with these extraordinary words:
“America’s workers will continue to be steadfast in defense of our democracy in the face of President Trump’s antics, and we stand ready to do our part to ensure his defeat in this election is followed by his removal from office.”

What he meant by union members doing their part to ensure his “removal from office” was not made clear.

There has never been an American election in which a defeated candidate – an incumbent, no less – refused to accept the results. This is truly uncharted territory – and unions are having say things and do things that they’ve never had to do before.

Trumka’s remarks came as unions have increased their commitment to a Democratic victory, both in the presidential race and in the races for seats in Congress.

According to a report earlier this month in The Hill, unions believe that they are “backing a better candidate in a better climate against a better target” than was the case in 2016, when most of them supported Hillary Clinton.

Union leaders are counting on Biden winning more support from their members than Clinton did. In 2016, Clinton beat Trump in union households by just 51% to 42%. She did far worse than Obama did among union members – and in Ohio, she didn’t even win a majority of union votes. Trump’s support among union members was unusually high.

This time around, union leaders believe that Trump’s appeal to working class voters in general, and to union members in particular, has gone down, due to both the economic crisis and the pandemic.

Some union leaders are convinced that Biden will do better than Clinton among their members because, as The Hill put it, he “is seen as more of a working class kind of guy.” Biden is also helped by the fact that a majority of union members in the U.S. are women or people of colour, two groups that are expected to vote overwhelmingly against Trump.

Biden’s campaign to win union support is not, however, helped by his long-standing support (shared with Hillary Clinton) for trade deals such as NAFTA that were seen as detrimental to workers.

For the moment, Trump’s support in the labor movement seems limited to unions of law enforcement officials – police and border patrol, with the occasional local union endorsement.

Union support for minor party candidates, and in particular the Green Party, is non-existent. The website for Green candidate Howie Hawkins, who is a lifelong trade unionist and socialist, shows just seven endorsements – including the “Legal Marijuana Now Party of Minnesota” – but none from a union.

Trump’s threats to remain in power regardless of the election result have served to sharpen the focus for American trade unionists. Their goals, as stated by Richard Trumka, could not be clearer: first defeat Trump – and then ensure that he actually leaves office.

This article appears in the current issue of Solidarity.

‘That’s It, I’m Voting For Him,’ Says Undecided Voter Impressed By Poised Chris Wallace

The Onion - 15 hours 52 min ago

BUCKEYE, AZ—Announcing during the presidential debate that he had made up his mind about who to support in the upcoming election, local undecided voter Alan Wills reportedly stated, “That’s it, I’m voting for him,” Tuesday after being impressed by poised moderator Chris Wallace. “That man has got my vote,” said Wills…

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Categories: The Onion

Trump Stokes Crime Fears By Having Mike Pompeo Disguise As Cat Burglar, Rob Him On Debate Stage

The Onion - 16 hours 27 min ago

CLEVELAND—Letting out a forced gasp at the phony mugging, President Donald Trump stoked fears surrounding crime Tuesday by having Secretary of State Mike Pompeo disguise himself as a cat burglar and rob him on the debate stage. “Oh no, look, it’s a violent Antifa thug sent here by Joe Biden to rob me!” said Trump,…

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Categories: The Onion

USA: Unions warn Trump: Don't even think about it

LabourStart - 18 hours 22 min ago
LabourStart headline - Source: Solidarity/Eric Lee

Book Review: The Cost of Free Shipping: Amazon in the Global Economy

Steward's Corner - Tue, 2020-09-29 15:48
Book Review: The Cost of Free Shipping: Amazon in the Global Economy September 29, 2020 / Joe DeManuelle-Hall

Amazon's name appears regularly on picket signs and in headlines decrying worker abuse and corporate callousness. It can be difficult, though, to find a comprehensive perspective on the company's crimes and transgressions, not to mention discussion of what we can do about it. In The Cost of Free Shipping: Amazon in the Global Economy, organizers and academics provide just that.

Categories: Labor Notes

Book Review: The Cost of Free Shipping: Amazon in the Global Economy

Magazine Stories - Tue, 2020-09-29 15:48
Book Review: The Cost of Free Shipping: Amazon in the Global Economy September 29, 2020 / Joe DeManuelle-Hall

Amazon's name appears regularly on picket signs and in headlines decrying worker abuse and corporate callousness. It can be difficult, though, to find a comprehensive perspective on the company's crimes and transgressions, not to mention discussion of what we can do about it. In The Cost of Free Shipping: Amazon in the Global Economy, organizers and academics provide just that.

Categories: Labor Notes

Biden, Trump Meet In First Presidential Debate

The Onion - Tue, 2020-09-29 14:44

Former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump will go head-to-head in Cleveland, Ohio, tonight in the first of three scheduled debates, with topics focusing on Covid-19, the economy, and the Supreme Court. What do you think?

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Categories: The Onion

California Firefighters Massage 2.5 Million Gallons Of Moisturizer Into Forests To Prevent Dryness

The Onion - Tue, 2020-09-29 12:30

SANTA ROSA, CA—Reminding the public that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reportedly massaged 2.5 million gallons of moisturizer into parched state forests Tuesday to break the cycle of dryness that has led to continual flare-ups. “The number …

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Categories: The Onion

A Model for the Labor Movement: The Working People Weekly List

AFL-CIO Weblog - Tue, 2020-09-29 12:22
A Model for the Labor Movement: The Working People Weekly List

Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s the latest edition of the Working People Weekly List.

Organizing Wins in Minneapolis Serve as a Model for the Labor Movement: "More than six months have passed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., and more workers across America are joining together in solidarity to create changes in our workplaces. Minneapolis is one city that has seen a wave of worker actions and organizing wins in the hospitality sector, and the labor movement’s successes there will undoubtedly inspire workers in other parts of the country who are looking to form a union."

National Hispanic Heritage Month Profiles: Dora Cervantes: "Throughout National Hispanic Heritage Month, the AFL-CIO will be profiling labor leaders and activists to spotlight the diverse contributions Hispanics and Latinos have contributed to our movement. Today's profile covers Dora Cervantes."

50 Reasons the Trump Administration Is Bad for Workers: "As a candidate, Donald Trump promised to protect workers and fight for us. President Trump hasn't lived up to that noble rhetoric. The Economic Policy Institute reports on 50 ways that the Trump administration has been bad for workers." 

SMART Members at Wolf Metals Integral to Creating Units That Sanitize PPE: "On a Thursday in March, when much of the country was being told to shelter in place due to the effects of COVID-19, members of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 24 in Ohio were beginning to modify and transform Critical Care Decontamination System (CCDS) units to disinfect personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 masks for health care workers. By Monday, SMART members at Wolf Metals had created four units, with more created since then, to help combat the spread of COVID-19 among front-line health care workers."

Trump Administration Moves to Suppress the Proxy Voting Rights of Working People’s Retirement Plans in Corporate Elections: "In a partisan 3-2 vote, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved rule changes that will make it harder for investors to hold corporate CEOs accountable by filing shareholder proposals on environmental, social and governance issues. The AFL-CIO strongly opposed these rule changes as a threat to shareholder democracy."

California Labor Federation Wins New Protections for Workers: "Last Thursday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a package of bills to expand worker protections. The new state laws will provide a workers’ compensation presumption for front-line workers who are afflicted with infectious diseases on the job and a requirement for employers to give timely notification of COVID-19 cases in the workplace. The California Labor Federation, under the leadership of Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski (IAM), took charge of the fight for these new policies."

CDC Continues to Choose Politics Over Science: "On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finally acknowledged airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 disease. But this long awaited recognition was promptly retracted from its website Monday morning with the message, 'Posted in error.'”

Solidarity and Cookies Lift Spirits at Operation Feed Atlantic City: "Nurses bring their healing touch with them wherever they go, and on Thursday members of Shore Nurses Union/NYSNA in New Jersey added a touch of sweetness to the Operation Feed Atlantic City food-distribution program with a donation of 500 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies that will help lift the spirits of laid-off union members and the Atlantic City community."

National Hispanic Heritage Month Profiles: Ernesto Galarza: "Throughout National Hispanic Heritage Month, the AFL-CIO will be profiling labor leaders and activists to spotlight the diverse contributions Hispanics and Latinos have contributed to our movement. Today's profile features Ernesto Galarza."

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: United Steelworkers: "Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the United Steelworkers."

IFPTE Backs Corporate Bankruptcy Reform: "Members of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) are putting their weight behind the Protecting Employees and Retirees in Business Bankruptcies Act of 2020 (H.R. 7370), a bill to rebalance America’s corporate bankruptcy laws to protect workers."

UFCW Prompts Largest Citation Over Coronavirus-Related Health and Safety Violations in California: "Following a comprehensive complaint filed by United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 770, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has issued its largest coronavirus-related citation in the state, fining food processing company Overhill Farms and its staffing agency more than $200,000 for serious health and safety violations."

New COVID-19 Protections In Las Vegas: Worker Wins: "Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with an important victory in the fight against COVID-19 for Las Vegas' workers and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life."

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 09/29/2020 - 12:22

Nation To Take Five

The Onion - Tue, 2020-09-29 11:30

WASHINGTON—Unveiling a plan to enjoy a few minutes to themselves before diving back in, the nation’s populace announced its intention Tuesday to take a fiver. “Looks like we’ve got some time to stretch our legs, chitchat, maybe grab a granola bar before we have to meet back here again,” said resident Brett Combs,…

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Categories: The Onion

White House Vows To Have Something To Stick Into Your Arm By October

The Onion - Tue, 2020-09-29 09:06

Initial timelines have estimated a Covid vaccine could be available by early 2021, but according to the White House, we may have something even sooner. Hear why the Trump administration believes they will have some kind of sharp thing to puncture your skin and inject you with before the election.

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Categories: The Onion

Grandmother Hopes Leaving 600 Pounds Of Old Newspapers To Grandson Doesn’t Make His Cousins Jealous

The Onion - Tue, 2020-09-29 09:05

DORMONT, PA—Emphasizing that she loved each of her seven grandchildren equally, local grandmother Esther Horn was reportedly hoping Tuesday the 600 pounds of old newspapers she was leaving to her grandson wouldn’t make his cousins jealous. “I don’t want it to seem like I’m playing favorites here, but I already…

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Categories: The Onion

Astronaut To Vote From Space

The Onion - Tue, 2020-09-29 09:00

For the second time in her career, NASA astronaut Dr. Kate Rubins will cast her vote for president from space, electronically forwarding her ballot from the International Space Station to Mission Control in Houston. What do you think?

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Categories: The Onion

Doing Their Part: Nintendo Is Encouraging Gamers To Register To Vote And Write In Mario For President

The Onion - Tue, 2020-09-29 08:00

This is really inspiring, gamers. With the coming election less than five weeks away, we need all hands on deck to make sure our democracy continues to flourish. Thankfully, the gaming legends at Nintendo are doing their part with their new “Switch the Polls” campaign that encourages gamers to register to vote and…

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Categories: The Onion

Guatemala: FESTRAS union leader brutally beaten

LabourStart - Mon, 2020-09-28 20:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IUF
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