AFL-CIO Chief Leads Preemptive Trump Strike
CANFIELD, Ohio – AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and local Democrats laid out their case against Donald Trump a few hours before his visit to the Canfield Fair.
Trumka and Democratic leaders, including U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, assailed Trump on now-familiar themes, criticizing the GOP presidential nominee for outsourcing Trump-brand products and reneging on contracts with vendors.
Trumka was happy to be in the Mahoning Valley “on a day dedicated to celebrating the achievements and accomplishments of the American worker,” he said.
“Especially on Labor Day, the truth about Donald Trump and American workers must be known,” he said.
Trumka characterized Trump as “a fraud, plain and simple” during a media event in front of the t Mahoning County Democratic Party’s tent. He called the businessman and reality TV host a “bully” who “would make it harder for working families to make ends meet” and “tear our country apart.”
Trump, the labor leader said, says he wants to bring jobs back to America as he pointed out that Trump-branded products are manufactured in at least 12 counties outside the United States.
“He’s made his fortune outsourcing jobs,” Trumka said. “He even taught people how to outsource at Trump University before it failed.
“You just cannot believe Trump on anything about trade,” he continued. “He claims he’s for working people but everything he’s done, everything he represents, every business decision he’s made, tells us otherwise.”
Trump also believes wages are too high, supports right-to-work laws and is attempting to break the union at one of his hotels in Las Vegas, Trumka continued.
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton “knows that America’s already great because of your hard work, because of your values, because of your integrity,” he said. “She wants to rewrite the rules of the economy so that working people will win and not just billionaires.”
Where Clinton’s economic plan would create 10 million jobs according to the financial analytics firms Moody’s, Trump’s would cost 3.5 million jobs, he said.
“He’s built a business model that’s all about ripping people off instead of lifting them up. That’s who he is,” Trumka said.
Ryan emphasized contractors’ accusations that Trump paid they less than what he agreed to in their contracts with his company.
“That has happened thousands of times. … There are contractors that went out of business. Workers that didn’t get paid,” he said. “How many businessmen do you know that have 3,500 lawsuits against them?”
Clinton’s jobs plan will give Americans the opportunity to make a living wage and raise their families in safe communities with quality schools, while the GOP offers “the same old Republican tax cutting for the top,” state Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni, D-33 Boardman, said.
“Here in the Mahoning Valley, we like people that tell it like it is, but more importantly, we recognize actions speak louder than words. And when you look at the actions of Donald Trump, it speaks louder than the words he’ll say today,” he said.
In addition to stiffing contractors, Schiavoni said, Trump cheered for the collapse of the housing market so people would lose their homes, allowing him to buy their properties “on the cheap.”
John Williams of Lisbon, one of the Trump supporters holding up signs across from the Mahoning Democratic tent, called Trump “the only possibility we have of pulling ourselves out of this Democratic hole that they’ve dug for us in the last 50 years.”
Williams, who said he has been involved with manufacturing since the 1970s, blamed President Jimmy Carter for failing to impose tariffs on imported steel. “That’s when the slide of the steel industry started,” he said.
Trump has tapped into American workers’ “anger and frustration” but his solutions “would double down on the policies that got us here,” Trumka said. “He doesn’t have any sensitivity or notion of how to take care of or how to help working people,” he added.
AFL-CIO has more some 3,750 volunteers in Ohio who will make more than one million phone calls throughout the state and knock on 200,000 doors. Members will receive mailers every week until Election Day. “It’ll be our most concentrated effort,” he said.
Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.