The Biggest Labor Stories of 2017

Labor News

(Credit: AP Photo/Erik Schelzig, file)

Reprinted from Salon originally published in In These Times by Shaun Richman on December 25, 2017.

“The first year of any Republican presidential administration is sure to bring new attacks on unions and their allies,” writes Shawn Richman in In These Times. “This year has seen plenty of anti-labor offensives, as well as inspiring fights and encouraging signs for the future.

“Let’s start with the most over-blown ‘fake news’ labor story of 2017: the asinine notion that Donald Trump has a cunning plan to cleave white working-class voters away from the Democratic party by protecting American jobs and giving unions a fair shake. From the coalmines of West Virginia to the Carrier plant of Indiana, Trump’s claims of saving jobs have been spectacles of hucksterism that resulted in fewer good jobs.

“His invitation of building-trades leaders to the White House in his first week on the job—once seen as a canny exploitation of union leaders’ simmering resentment towards Democratic party indifference—is now understood as the gesture of a clueless buffoon struggling vainly to treat his new job like his business ventures. ‘Let’s bring in a few dealmakers and talk about construction projects,’ he probably thought. ‘Maybe they have some good suggestions for how my idiot son-in-law might go about bargaining for peace in the Middle East.’ …
“But workers refuse to wait until Trump is impeached, voted out or felled by his nauseatingly unhealthy diet. The year was marked by some impressive organizing campaigns that offer hope for the future. …

Salon 12/25

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About Jeffrey Burman 5295 Articles
Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at

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