By Mike Gillis / AFL-CIO
In the weeks leading up to Labor Day, a group of prominent Ohio labor leaders conducted a tour of press conferences around the state to discuss the presidential candidates in the 2016 elections. “There is a clear contrast for working people this fall and this election, which will be a formative one for an entire generation of Ohioans,” said Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga, at the onset of the tour. “The labor movement here is educating its members on the real dangers of a Trump presidency and the real promise for working people that Hillary Clinton represents,” he said.
Internally dubbed “The Monsters of Ohio Labor Tour 2016,” the press conferences were held in Toledo, Columbus, Cleveland, Youngstown, Dayton and Cincinnati and focused on issues like the auto rescue, trade and outsourcing, livable wages, infrastructure investment, and worker exploitation. Top state leadership from the Ohio AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers (USW), UAW and the Building Trades participated.
“If [Trump] really cared about American workers and making things in America, that’s where these would be made today,” said USW District 1 Director Dave McCall in Youngstown, as he held up a pair of Trump-branded items, a tie made in China and a shirt made in Bangladesh.
Dennis Duffey of the Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council pointed to another Trump “business model”—the more than 2,000 lawsuits filed against Trump by small contractors. “His business model is to hire you to do his work. When you’re done with your work, he doesn’t pay so you go to court to get your money,” Duffey said.
UAW’s Ken Lortz also took issue with Donald Trump’s pick as his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence: “I have seen first-hand what Mike Pence thinks of workers,” he said in Toledo. “He supported the unfair [North American Free Trade Agreement] and China trade agreements. He was one of the most outspoken members in the legislature in opposition to the auto rescue.”
The leaders expressed strong support for the leadership ability and policy positions of Hillary Clinton. “In her first hundred days in office she has a plan to invest $10 billion in American manufacturing—the largest investment in American manufacturing since World War II—and an investment in infrastructure, building and construction not seen since the Eisenhower interstate highway project in the fifties,” Burga said.
Below are several press clipping about the tour:
Toledo Blade: Labor leaders in Toledo pick Clinton over Trump
WTOL CBS Ch. 11 Toledo: Ohio labor leaders pulling for Hillary
WTVG ABC Ch. 13 Toledo: Union leaders say Donald Trump is unfit to be president
WNWO NBC Ch 24 Toledo: Prominent labor leaders in Toledo to voice their support for Hillary Clinton
Columbus Dispatch: Labor leaders kick off statewide tour
Plain Dealer (pre-story): Labor talks politics
WEWS ABC Ch. 5 Cleveland: Labor leaders gather in support of Clinton
Youngstown Business Journal: Labor leaders tout Clinton, trash Trump
Youngstown Vindicator: Biden plans trip to Mahoning Valley, labor leaders criticize Trump
WFMJ NBC Ch 21 Youngstown (video): State labor leaders speak in support of Hillary Clinton
WFMJ NBC Ch 21 Youngstown (write-up): State labor leaders speak in support of Hillary Clinton
WYSO 91.3 FM Dayton: Ohio AFL-CIO Continues Support of Clinton In Presidential Race
WHIO Ch. 7 CBS Dayton: State labor leaders tout Clinton over Trump
WDTN Ch 2 NBC Dayton: Ohio AFL-CIO, labor leaders denounce Donald Trump