FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: APRIL 19, 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: Haylee Brannon | 317-529-9839
Donald Trump is Bad for Working People
Two Indianapolis-based heating and air conditioning plants, Carrier and United Technologies, announced in February they will be moving operations to Mexico starting 2017 and taking with them 2,100 Hoosier jobs, not to mention hope for their future.
The announcements from these two Indiana plants prompted some of the presidential candidates to discuss the devastating affects trade deals like NAFTA and the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership have on working Americans. Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton discussed the topic in several debates following the announcement by Carrier— both planting their stance on the issue firmly in support of working people in this nation.
Democratic candidates were not the only Presidential candidates having a discussion on Carrier and bad trade deals. Republican front-runner Donald Trump used the Indianapolis plant closures as leverage in his own political platform, promising to penalize companies like Carrier who move overseas (1). That statement alone caused a large number of on-the-fence voters to side with Trump—even union members in our very own locals.
These statements by Trump are off-putting for many reasons, including the fact that he openly supports anti-worker legislation like right-to-work (2) and has a history of outsourcing manufacturing jobs to foreign factories to save money.
For example, in 2004 Trump sealed a deal with Phillips-Van Heusen, a T-shirt manufacturer that produces merchandise in over 85 countries (3). He selected this manufacturer based on their reputation for producing quality products on a mass scale and for a lower price. The line Donald J. Trump Collection is manufactured in Honduras, China and Bangladesh—all low-wage countries, Honduras being the second poorest country in Central America (4).
It is troubling to think Trump was able to sway a percentage of working people by claiming he is against outsourcing American jobs when his business decisions and records clearly prove otherwise. His best interest is not in the heart of working people. His interest is vested in winning over frustrated Americans who feel betrayed by the establishment so he can manipulate them into thinking he is their knight in shining armor.
Donald Trump claims to be an ally of working people yet fought his own workers who tried to unionize at one of his hotels in Las Vegas (5). Eighty percent of those workers are immigrants and 50 percent are women—both victims of several offensive statements he has made on his campaign trail.
And in a time where income inequality is at it’s highest and people are working harder than ever before and still struggling to make ends meet, he claims that wages in this country are “too high”. As a billionaire businessman how can he claim that wages are too high while his own employees are struggling to survive? Trump’s woefully out of touch views on the value of workers is by itself disqualifying.
Donald Trump is not the voice of working people; in fact he is absolutely the opposite. His racist, sexist, and xenophobic remarks and the positions he takes on issues important to working families will not be tolerated. Not by an organization representing ALL working people no matter their racial or religious affiliation, gender identity, or sexual orientation. And as a statewide federation representing 800 local unions with more than 300,000 members in the state of Indiana, we will not allow a bigot like Trump to dismantle the great union of workers we have fought tirelessly to protect.
The Indiana State AFL-CIO urges anyone thinking of voting for Donald Trump to strongly reconsider and put your faith in a candidate who honestly has the best interests of hard working American families at heart.
Brett Voorhies, President Indiana AFL-CIO
1 Reuters, 2/14/16
2 The Washington Examiner, 2/23/16
3 The Chicago Tribune, 3/13/16
4 Honduras Economic Profile 2014
5 Think Progress, 12/15/15