Friday, December 9, 2016

Trump launches war on unions - POLITICO

Trump launches war on unions - POLITICO:
Trump launches war on unions

Labor leaders said after the election they’d give him a chance to deliver on his pro-worker agenda. But the ceasefire appears over.

The war between Donald Trump and the nation’s labor unions is on.

Labor leaders, who spent almost $100 million campaigning against Trump, said after the election they’d give him a chance to deliver on his pro-worker agenda. But the cease-fire eroded in the last two days.

First, Trump blasted an Indiana union boss personally on Twitter, prompting a blistering response from labor leaders. Then he announced his choice for secretary of the Department of Labor is fast-food executive Andrew Puzder, a union critic who’s even floated the idea of automating his restaurants to avoid worker costs.

“It’s part of a larger agenda, and you can see it playing out in terms of his picks, which is to destroy the labor movement,” said RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United. “They want to do away with democracy. That’s the problem. Labor is a check on the balance of power with corporations and they want labor out of the way.”

 The emerging battle could set the tone between Trump and unions — and affect the future of the U.S. labor movement itself. Trump won the election with the help of union household voters in key states, such as Ohio and Michigan. In the soul searching after the election, labor needed to decide whether to stand with or against him.

So far, Trump is making that decision easy. The president-elect seems to be assembling a pro-business Cabinet that could clash with unions at every turn.

Puzder would fit right in. He’s the top executive of CKE Restaurants, the parent company for Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s and Green Burrito. While he doesn’t oppose raising the minimum wage, he says it will lead to job losses and more automation.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said Trump’s plan to nominate Puzder “makes a mockery of what the Department of Labor is about.”
Weingarten has been deeply critical of another Cabinet pick, Betsy DeVos, a billionaire businesswoman he plans to tap for secretary of Education who supports expanding charter and other private school options for low-income children.

“This is about the opposite of what Trump promised he was going to do when he said he was going to be the president for the working class,” Weingarten said about the Puzder announcement. “This pick is about pulverizing the working class.”

Mary Kay Henry, president of the two million-member Service Employees International Union, said Trump might as well rebrand the Labor Department as Trump launches war on unions - POLITICO: