Thursday, 17 March 2016

Donald Trump and the American Working Class

The American elections are heating up, but I'm not going to talk about that here, instead I wish to talk about something that I feel is far more instructive to what we can expect from a Trump Presidency. Personally speaking I think the best measure of a politicians intentions real values, and leadership style and priorities is by their actions and not their rhetoric. To hell with "I'm _______ and I approve this message" and the obligatory "Paid for by a committee that's backing a rival to the politician we've just been attacking". Actions speak louder than words, or at least they should. Strangely politics is the one area where this isn't always true.

Now longtime readers will know I've opposed Donald Trump on principal for a number of years, I still think his actions in Scotland and Aberdeen in particular expose the man's priorities, ruining the lives of the local population so he can build another shrine to his own vanity. But today I have another example, Mr Trump is a businessman, and like all good capitalists he has a workforce. This workforce is organising because because Trump and his management haven't quite got around to making his own workforce great at all, never mind again.

I am a housekeeper at the Trump Hotel in Las Vegas. This past December, a majority of employees like me at Trump Las Vegas voted YES to a union. But Trump's company has refused listen to us and honor the results of our election.
Instead, they've blocked negotiations through legal challenges – which so far have gone nowhere. A federal officer recently recommended that the company’s list of objections be "overruled in their entirety" – and that the NLRB certify the union.Instead of sitting down to negotiate a fair contract, Trump company lawyers are still fighting to overturn the election.
If Donald Trump wants to “Make America Great Again,” he should start by negotiating a deal with his us – his Las Vegas hotel employees – just like his company did for workers at Trump Toronto in Canada.
Just last year, Trump workers in Canada voted for a union and have since negotiated their first contract – a deal that gives workers much like us a chance to provide for their families, keep their kids healthy, enjoy job protections and security, and one day retire with dignity.

Even the smallest slither of a concession from a businessman takes month's even years of organising and campaigning before it'll even come close to seeing the light of day. Toronto has organised successfully but the upper management stubbornly resist its spread.

This week Donald Trump’s hotel in Las Vegas is facing more heat for its labor record. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued another federal complaint against Trump Ruffin Commercial, LLC, alleging that the company unlawfully terminated one employee and discriminated against another based on their union support, and promised employees job opportunities if they abandoned the union.
Trump’s company has driven an aggressive anti-union campaign since workers began organizing at the Trump Las Vegas in 2014.  The complaint issued this week is the third one brought by federal government against Trump Las Vegas alleging unfair labor practices. In prior complaints, federal officials have alleged that Trump’s hotel company engaged in the following unlawful activities: 1) maintaining rules prohibiting workers from communicating with one another and the public; 2) interrogations and surveillance; 3) intimidation of employees by Trump management and security staff, including a manager physically pushing employees; and 4) suspensions and a threat to fire union supporters.
 Trump's company treats its own workforce like hostile children in need of control and harassment. The concessions made to the Canadian workforce are welcome, but I can't help noticing that the darling of American Nationalism treats foreign workers better than those from the Fatherland, but to be fair to the man cross class rhetoric combined with anti worker policies are standard practice with all major nationalist movements, so he's really just going along with the flow here.

I mean he's not been coy about demonising migrant workers and taking a patriotic guise to American Labor, which is probably why he's been attracting so much support from those white supremacists and ghosts, and yet his actions and the actions of his company say the opposite.
Reuters reports that in just the last month Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida applied for 70 visas for foreign workers because they could be paid lower wages than American workers, even as Trump hit the campaign trail denigrating Mexicans as rapists and drug dealers. Since 2000, Trump-affiliated companies have sought 1,100 temporary visas for foreign workers, and most of the requested vias were approved.

The Las Vegas workers took part in the protests in Chicago

If Trump is this callous and dismissive of his own workforce, the very people who made his fortune that he's now using to run a Presidential campaign, then how will he react towards American workers whom haven't done anything for him?

His workers already live under a Trump Presidency, as the capitalist he controls their means of existence and daily routines,  they know what his policies are like and most of them hate it, this should be very instructive to the entire American population, and yet I don't belief its received much coverage.

Oh and if your reading this and are American and don't like Donald Trump much, then I urge you to support the workers of Donald Trump's companies in their protests and organisation attempts, no matter what happened come election day a stronger more combative workforce in Trumps corporate empire will only be an improvement. Of course everyone should be doing this for all workers everywhere but given the situation giving extra support to Trump staff makes sense.


  1. Does anyone with a brain really LIKE Donald Trump?

    1. Well according to this report 45% of his support base have bachelor degrees or higher, and a significant proportion of the rest are professional types in management, whatever that's worth.

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