Trump elected, American workers react

This video says about itself:

17 November 2016

Larry Cohen, who served as a senior adviser to Bernie Sanders and is now the board chair of Our Revolution, says Donald Trump’s appointment of Breitbart News’ Steve Bannon as his chief strategist means he has “an enemy of the people, a divider of the nation” in a leading position in his administration.

By Shannon Jones in the USA:

“Workers are going to see Trump is not going to do anything for them”

Autoworkers react to the election of Trump

17 November 2016 …

Many workers rejected the claim that the vote for Trump reflected a resurgence of racism as claimed by various liberal and “left” apologists for Clinton, Obama and the Democrats. Instead they said the vote reflected deep social anger and disgust with the establishment politicians. …

“They try to make it a race issue, but the working class has really been hit hard. This has gone on for decades. It doesn’t matter who is in office, the working class pays for everything. All of these bailouts they did have been on the backs of the working class. They bailed out the auto industry, but they didn’t do anything to help the people of Detroit.

“The Democrats are so out of touch. In their speeches they talk about the ‘middle class,’ not the working class. We haven’t been middle class for decades. We live with insecurity month after month, year after year.”

A number of workers expressed anger over the endless wars carried out by the United States under the mantle of the phony “war on terror.” The Chicago Ford worker said, “We are tired of all these wars. We are tired of sending kids, friends, nephews off to these wars and having them come back all screwed up. Then they have to live off charity when they come back, when the government should be supporting them.”

Many autoworkers are expressing concern over the incoming Trump administration’s policies, which will be directed against the democratic rights of the working class. …

The Jefferson North worker told the World Socialist Web Site, “There is anger and disbelief that Trump won the election, with him being a racist.

“Surprisingly large numbers of UAW members voted for Trump,” she said. “He gave the people the belief that they had a voice. A lot of other people didn’t vote because they didn’t like either Clinton or Trump.

“He shouldn’t have gotten as far as he did. I don’t think he expected to go that far.”

During the primaries Bernie Sanders had won wide support from autoworkers, including in Michigan where he won an upset victory over Clinton. …

This reporter explained that the lack of enthusiasm for Clinton was not due to due to racism or sexism but over her record as a crony of Wall Street and a promoter of militarism and war. There was broad hostility in the working class to both candidates reflecting a growing alienation on the part of workers to the whole political establishment.

An autoworker with 18 years seniority at Ford’s flagship Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan explained his decision not to vote as based on something quite different from political indifference. The Obama restructuring of the auto industry in 2009 cut wages for new hires in half and decimated their health care as well as benefits for retirees. Voicing a growing hostility to both big business parties, “I could not support either one of them,” he said with disgust. “None of them are any good.”

A worker at the Fiat Chrysler Jeep Complex in Toledo, who previously supported Sanders, said, “I think 40 percent of UAW members voted Republican. Many saw it as something new and fresh. The company is always using the threat they will shift production to Mexico against us.”

The Chicago Ford worker agreed. “The majority here did not vote. They didn’t see any difference. It is not a democracy.

“Yeah it will be bad with Trump, but in reality it would be the same with Clinton. You have the good cop and the bad cop, but in the end it is the same thing.

“Workers are going to see that Trump is not going to do anything good for the working class, then they are going to start seriously looking at branching out from the two parties.”

This video from the USA says about itself:

17 November 2016

Demonstrators gathered in front of the City Hall in Los Angeles on Wednesday, to protest President-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of Steve Bannon as his White House Chief Strategist.

From daily News Line in Britain:

17 November 2016

Organised labour’s get-out-the-vote effort this year was every bit as robust in 2016 as in previous recent elections, said Peter Olney, former organising director for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, who advised several national unions on electoral efforts this year. ‘Labour put its shoulder to the wheel and worked hard to elect Clinton,’ Olney said. ‘The AFL-CIO put together a very strong ground game.’

That included extensive communications to members explaining the federation’s endorsement of the Democratic ticket. Individual unions mobilised tens of thousands of volunteers nationwide for phone banking and door-to-door canvassing aimed at fellow union members, friends and family, and the general public.

Still, said Olney, ‘labour was not able to convince its members – in the significant ways it had done for Obama – to vote for the Democratic nominee. And that’s particularly true in the hard-hit Rust Belt states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.’

Exit polls from Edison Research and CNN show that Hillary Clinton won union households nationwide – by 51 per cent to 43 per cent. She won union households by even larger margins in Michigan (53 per cent to 40 per cent) and Wisconsin (53 per cent to 43 per cent), though she lost that vote to Trump in Ohio (by 42 per cent to 54 per cent).

In 2008 and 2012, Obama won union households by nearly 60 per cent, according to exit polls. Trump, meanwhile, improved on the performance of his recent Republican predecessors. His 43 per cent share of union households beat the union vote gained by George W Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney.

Olney said a more progressive Democratic message from the Clinton-Kaine ticket – including more aggressive attacks on Wall Street and free trade – would have cut into Trump’s appeal with union voters.’

Jan Soltys, a former UAW autoworker at a Chrysler plant in Northern Illinois, agreed.

‘I’m angry, just like everybody else,’ Soltys said. ‘I’m still hurting from the recession. You hear about everything being great – it’s really not for everybody.’

Soltys supported Bernie Sanders in the primaries, and didn’t support either major-party candidate in the general election. She said a lot of union autoworkers she knows bucked the UAW’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton and backed Trump. She said even though Obama rescued the auto industry, many UAW workers experienced pay and benefit cuts. It’s symbolic of this whole new economy,’ she said. ‘Even if you’re at Chrysler – you work twice as hard at what was once a really good job, and you aren’t going to make the same money as the people before you.’

That’s just the kind of blue-collar backsliding that Trump promised to fix as he went after traditionally Democratic voters in the election. Economist Michael Strain at the conservative American Enterprise Institute said Democrats must now be asking themselves ‘whether the traditional coalition and traditional allies – of which labour unions were a huge part – came through and are enough’ to achieve victory in national elections. And Strain said the Democrats’ problem is heightened by the precipitous decline of union membership in recent decades.

But Lawrence Mishel, president of the progressive Economic Policy Institute, said the defeat of Hillary Clinton and her allies sends a different message: that the neoliberal, pro-free-trade wing of the Democratic Party can’t attract enough working-class votes to win national elections. There needs to be a populist, progressive policy agenda,’ Mishel said, ‘and that’s the agenda of labour.’

• Buzz Malone writing in ‘In These Times’ stated: ‘Many years ago, I spoke to a group of labour leaders. I talked about labour history, and how we all love and revere the movement of yesteryear.

‘I talked about how we worship and adore the era of workers rising up against the machinery of the status quo and the heroes who emerged as leaders of those movements. And then I told them that if we are not cautious, that the next worker uprising will be against us.

‘I warned them of the dangers of becoming so intertwined into the fabric of the establishment that the working class may not readily be able to discern the difference between the two …

‘Tuesday night’s election win, in my mind, is a sign of such an uprising. There is no need to try and dissect the entire election. There are enough “experts” doing that today already. And time will tell soon enough what it means for organised labour to live under the new all-Republican regime. But there has been a lot of talk about white America, and that is something I know a little something about …

‘More than anything, this election (in my mind) was about people who are disgusted with the status quo. People who have little or no interest in ever voting before came out and voted because their healthcare premiums have skyrocketed (they blame Obamacare), or they remember losing their factory jobs when Bill Clinton’s NAFTA took effect. Many of them were Democrats once (or still are).

‘They voted in overwhelming numbers, not for Trump, so much as against what they perceive to be the preordained establishment candidate being crammed down their throats. Even among union members, the disgust for this cycle was palpable. And despite populist movements in both anti-establishment directions (Trump and Bernie Sanders), most union leadership inside the beltway seemingly further embraced the establishment candidates, further alienating membership on both sides of the aisle.’

Japanese prime minister meets President-elect Trump: here.

7 thoughts on “Trump elected, American workers react

  1. Pingback: Trump elected, American workers react — Dear Kitty. Some blog | Manolis

  2. Pingback: Trump elected, American workers react — Dear Kitty. Some blog – The Fifth Column

  3. SO THESE workers & trump supporters are going TO FIX…TO CHANGE… the system & the Gov, to work for them….. by voting for & rehiring the same career, special interest, politicians that have been OBSTRUCTING any kind of JOBS, Pres O tried to his JOBS across the NATION..good jobs, improve economy, shore up our tax base…BUT NO the special interest decided that Obama should not get credit for helping the mid class, SO THEY did NOTHING FOR 7 FREAKING YEARS, BUT try to reverse a ELECTION…. MY vote didnt matter because REPUBLICANS didnt get their candidate elected..& the new one, was BLACK… so the same folks who DENIED our JOBS, JUST got rehired to continue with their selfish, greedy, all in for the rich & famous, agenda CONTINUES…. AND now trump wants to get rid of the Dept of Education….. no chit….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Stop Dakota Access pipeline, petition | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Friday 18th November 2016

    posted by James Tweedie in World

    US DEMOCRATS have picked rightwinger Chuck Schumer as their leader in the Senate, where they have a minority, showing the party is still in denial about the reasons for their election defeat.

    Leftwinger Bernie Sanders, whose presidential nomination bid was sabotaged by party apparatchiks, was on Wednesday denied the prestigious post, which became vacant after veteran Harry Reid stepped down after 29 years as a senator.

    Mr Sanders has instead been made the Democrats’ outreach chief and will hold focus group meetings of leaders around the country on why billionaire Donald Trump defeated Wall Street favourite Hillary Clinton.

    On Monday 17 protesters from groups including Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street were arrested after entering Mr Schumer’s Capitol Hill office to demand he step aside in favour of Mr Sanders.

    Mr Sanders remains the senior Democrat on the Senate budget committee.

    “I’m going to do everything that I can to make sure that the budget that leaves the United States Congress is a budget that represents the needs of working families and a shrinking middle class, and not billionaires,” he said.

    Mr Sanders also urged Mr Trump to reverse his “totally unacceptable” appointment of far-right Breibart News chairman Stephen Bannon as White House chief of staff.

    Mr Sanders told a packed crowd of students at the capital’s George Washington University on Wednesday night that, while he was disappointed at the result, it was up to progressives to hold Mr Trump to his promises to the working class.

    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Anti-Defamation League have both accused Mr Bannon of anti-semitism over articles posted on the staunchly pro-Israel Breitbart.


  6. Pingback: Romanian Ford workers on strike | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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