Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Saving Carrier Jobs Is Just The First Step

by Robert Roach, Jr.
On the campaign trail, President-elect Trump discussed workers’ understandable apprehension about losing jobs and what it means for the future of their families. He promised to stop Carrier Corp. from moving 2,100 jobs it had planned to shift from Indiana to Mexico.
The United Steelworkers had tried negotiating with Carrier in order to keep the jobs in the United States by pledging $23 million per year in savings it could offer to the company. But Carrier rejected the offer, citing its expected savings of $65 million each year by moving to Mexico. 
A spokesperson for the United Steelworkers 1999, the union representing Carrier’s production employees, told The Washington Post that the union was boxed out of the talks. It seemed Carrier was determined to choose additional profitability over its dedicated workers. 
Now, after a lobbying effort from the incoming Trump administration, Carrier has agreed to keep about half of those jobs in Indiana. In exchange, the company will receive new government incentives. 
The Alliance will continue to stand with our friends at USW and hope that Trump succeeds in keeping additional jobs in the United States. 
However, we still need to make sure Trump doesn't advance Republican plans to attack unions at every turn. Labor’s foes want to go after our pensions, keep the minimum wage low, and make health care less secure for workers and retirees. We must ensure that this one victory for Carrier’s workers is not used by the Trump Administration as a smokescreen to do more damage elsewhere.

Robert Roach, Jr. is president of the Alliance for Retired Americans.  He was previously General Secretary‐Treasurer of the IAMAW.  For more information, visit www.retiredamericans.org.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Report From The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM)

Report From The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM)
 President-elect Donald Trump focused on many hot-button issues during the Republican primaries and the general election in which he defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton. Trump, ever the savvy salesman, began the dialogue about American manufacturing and trade right out of the gate, despite the traditional Republican mantra promoting “free trade agreements.”


Trump quickly promised crackdowns on unfair trade deals and called NAFTA the “worst trade agreement ever.” He was particularly focused on China and Mexico where many American manufacturers have moved their factories to increase profits. He promised 45 percent tariffs on China if it continued to “dump” its overcapacity of steel in the United States because it was costing America millions of dollars and middle-class jobs.


It was a “do as I say, not as I do” situation. Trump used steel manufactured in China to build the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas and purchased Chinese-made aluminum for the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago. It is likely he has built additional structures with Chinese steel. He has a penchant for having his products manufactured in other parts of the world. We know he is an eager consumer of low-cost products made in China, Mexico and many other offshore manufacturers around the globe. His suits and neckties are made in China, while his furniture and kitchen goods lines are also manufactured overseas.


Trump’s early statements about the steel industry and manufacturing in general are considered important reasons why he did so well winning most of the “Rust Belt” states on election night.On June 28, 2016 in Monessen, Pennsylvania, an area once the heartland of the American steel industry, Trump was in full-fear mongering in a speech before thousands of people affected by the crash of American steel. 

“A Trump Administration will also ensure that we start using American steel for American infrastructure. Just like the American steel from Pennsylvania that built the Empire State building. It will be American steel that will fortify America’s crumbling bridges. It will be American steel that sends our skyscrapers soaring into the sky. It will be American steel that rebuilds out inner cities. It will be American hands that remake this country and it will be American energy – mined from American resources – that powers this country. It will be American workers who are hired to do the job. We are going to put American-produced steel back into the backbone of our country. This alone will create massive numbers of jobs.”


Within the past year, more than 15,000 USW members have lost their jobs and the situation is getting worse. Maybe if President-elect Trump and his billionaire buddies can practice what Trump preaches, the American steel industry can stop the bleeding and re-open the many idled steel mills waiting to get back on line. That would definitely create thousands of jobs for skilled American steelworkers.


Jeff Bonior, AAM staff writer, Alliance for American Manufacturing

Monday, January 02, 2017

Elections Have Consequences

With the election of a Republican Congress and President, I have great concerns regarding the future of retirees and workers. It is no secret that the agenda of many of these Republicans is to do away with Medicare as we know it and attack Social Security, attack Unions by having a national “Right To Work” (for less law) and to attack many Executive Orders that President Obama enacted including; improved overtime pay, more transparency in Union organizing campaigns on the spending of company money to defeat employee organizing efforts, eliminate prevailing wages on government contracts, etc. This, all in the name of eliminating regulations.

We will also be confronted with the possible appointment of anti-Union and corporate interest individuals to the Supreme Court and regulatory agencies. For example, the Trump business is fighting the employees in Las Vegas who are trying to form a Union. He will now have the right to appoint members to the National Labor Relations Board that will tilt the scales not only in his business interest but throughout the Country.

This is my opinion and I hope we are not confronted with the possibilities, but we must pay attention, and be prepared to oppose such anti-worker, anti-union efforts and those that will attack the welfare of retirees including Social Security and Medicare and health care benefits of over 20 million people who could lose them if the ACA is eliminated. 

p.s. By the way shouldn’t we be concerned and demand an investigation over the involvement of Russia in our Presidential election? 

Bill Gibbons, PACE Representative