Levy: Despite Populist Rhetoric, Trump is Poised to Preside Over a Crackdown on Unions

Labor News

Susan Walsh/AP

Reprinted from Mother Jones by Pema Levy on April 28, 2017.

“Donald Trump got a higher share of the vote among union members in last year’s election than any Republican presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan, helping propel him to victory in key Rust Belt states and to the White House,” writes Pema Levy in Mother Jones. “Since his inauguration, he has continued to sound populist notes. He signed a ‘Buy American, Hire American’ executive order and promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. He has invited labor leaders to the White House for chummy photo ops, and some have praised him in return.

“But beyond these symbolic gestures, Trump’s actual track record on organized labor is quickly moving in the opposite direction. That’s because his greatest impact is likely to come from his high-profile appointments, which appear poised to decimate the power of unions.

“Trump’s overtures to unions have so far struck labor advocates as hollow. His Buy American order is vaguely worded and unlikely to have much effect on manufacturing and trade. On NAFTA, his stance has seemed to change several times just in the past few days, and he now says he won’t scrap it ‘at this time.’

“‘Those are just sort of optical moves,’ says Susan Davis, a labor lawyer who has represented national and local unions. ‘In terms of substance, every single thing they have done and intend to do is damaging to workers and unions.’ …

Mother Jones 4/28

About Jeffrey Burman 3107 Articles
Jeff Burman represents assistant editors on the Guild’s Board of Directors. He can be reached at jeffrey.s.burman.57@gmail.com.

Leave a Reply