Thursday, October 19, 2017

Why Workers Support Trump, and What to Do About It

A powerful feature  article in the Times this week gets across the real suffering of many native-born U.S. workers as their industrial jobs are relocated to Mexico and they are forced into lower-paying service jobs, often in competition with immigrants from Mexico. Deprived of any real analysis of the situation—about the way U.S. trade policy has driven immigration from Mexico, and the way U.S. immigration restrictions force many Mexicans to accept rock-bottom wages in their own country—many displaced U.S. workers have turned to Trump’s nonsensical promises.

Huffington Post article about today's nationwide UNITE HERE rallies shows part of what we need to do to counter this. Whatever problems the union may have, its president, D. Taylor, at least understands that the answer to Trumpism for U.S. workers must include solidarity with immigrants and organizing to improve service jobs:  “As much as we’d all love for manufacturing jobs to come back,” he says, “we think we need to turn these [hospitality] jobs into good jobs.”—TPOI editor

Is “Make it here” the answer? Photo: Alyssa Schukar/NY Times
Becoming a Steelworker Liberated Her. Then Her Job Moved to Mexico.

By Farah Stockman, New York Times
October 14, 2017
INDIANAPOLIS — The man from Mexico followed a manager through the factory floor, past whirring exhaust fans, beeping forklifts, and drilling machines that whined against steel. Workers in safety glasses looked up and stared. Others looked away. Shannon Mulcahy felt her stomach lurch.

It was December 2016. The Rexnord Corporation’s factory still churned out bearings as it always had. Trucks still dropped off steel pipes at the loading dock. Bill Stinnett, a die-hard Indiana Pacers fan, still cut them into pieces. The pieces still went to the “turning” department, where they were honed into rings as small as a bracelet or as big as a basketball. Then to “heat treat,” where Shannon — who loves heavy metal music and abandoned dogs — hardened them with fire.[…]

Read the full article:

Service Workers to Rally Against Trump Immigration Policies
The hospitality union Unite Here plans demonstrations in 40 cities: “We need protections for the workers who drive this industry.”

By Dave Jamieson, Huffington Post
October 14, 2017
The hospitality workers union Unite Here was tangling with Donald Trump long before he ever became president. While the business mogul made his run for the Republican nomination last year, the group waged ― and eventually won ― a scrappy battle to unionize the housekeepers and restaurant workers at his hotel on the Las Vegas strip.

Now that Trump occupies the White House, the union’s president, D. Taylor, says the best place to fight his presidency and his policies is still in the workplace.

“Most of these jobs are not good jobs,” Taylor said of the sort of hotel and food service jobs that Trump, as a businessman, was best known for. “The only way those jobs change is if people have good union contracts, decent wages, good healthcare and retirement benefits. As much as we’d all love for manufacturing jobs to come back, we think we need to turn these [hospitality] jobs into good jobs.” […]

Read the full article:

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