From the TUC

We’re with Chuck: we’ll stand with him against Trump – #ImWithChuck

10 Dec 2016, By

Usually stories about online abuse are – as in this week’s case concerning Labour MP Luciana Berger – about threatening public figures. But in today’s topsy-turvy world, the latest twitter outrage is about a famous, powerful person abusing someone of more humble means. I’m talking about President Elect Trump’s despicable attack on the leader of a steelworkers’ union local in Indianapolis, Chuck Jones. And in solidarity with Chuck, I want you all to sign an e-card to show that we back him, not the bully about to become the President of the United States of America.

The #ImWithChuck hashtag is about the importance of solidarity when we take on the powerful. As outstanding labor beat reporter Steven Greenhouse wrote in the Los Angeles Times,

“When President-elect Donald Trump tweeted out attacks Wednesday night against an Indianapolis steelworkers official, he wasn’t just letting off steam; he was seeking to stifle dissent and weaken a powerful labor union.”

So, what happened? Last week, the US news media was full of claims that Trump had personally intervened to save 1,100 jobs at a firm called Carrier from moving to Mexico. The actual number is 800 jobs saved. 550 jobs are still being moved to Mexico, despite the $7 million Carrier is getting in tax breaks. Chuck Jones, a union member and president of United Steelworkers (USW) local 1999 that represents workers at Carrier, called him out.

On Wednesday night, Trump took to Twitter to personally attack Jones, and subsequently, Jones is now getting threatening calls.

Elizabeth Bunn, Director of Organising at the AFLCIO (the US equivalent of the TUC) says that

“Chuck Jones and working people at Carrier have been fighting to save their jobs since long before Trump even became the Republican nominee. Carrier refused to even consider offers from workers and demanded they would only save jobs if they accepted deep wage and benefit cuts. For more than 35 years, Chuck and millions of USW members have stood up against unfair trade deals that allow companies like Carrier to make products overseas and ship them back to the United States. Since 2000, they’ve been a part of more than 50 trade cases to help keep family-sustaining jobs in this country.”

Trump’s attack on Chuck is not only personal, it shows again that he only has disdain for people coming together in unions to improve their workplaces. Whether it’s his refusal to negotiate with workers at his Las Vegas hotel, his history of not paying contractors and small businesses that do work for him, or his support for outsourcing jobs by using Chinese steel on some of his buildings, Trump has proven yet again he’s no friend to working people.

So, please join the #ImWithChuck hashtag and send a message of solidarity to Chuck and all his members in USW local 1999. Because as I have written so many times before, an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. And together, we are strong!