Labor union leaders admit that their rank and file is giving more support to business mogul Donald Trump than other Republican candidates have received in recent elections despite their attempts to persuade them otherwise, The Washington Times reports.
In the last two elections, union households voted nearly 60 percent for Barack Obama, leaving just above 40 percent for the Republican candidate. But so far, according to polls, Trump is receiving 50 percent support among union households, a significant increase that could be the determining factor in such key states as Michigan and Pennsylvania.
That prospect is why union heads are urging their members to reject Trump and try to point out his anti-union stances. Newsweek reports
that, especially as his operations spread out of New York, his attitude became more anti-union. Numerous workers' complaints at Trump's Vegas hotel, for example, allege that the management there has fired or otherwise retaliated and threatened workers who have tried to organize.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who has called Trump "dangerous, delusional and a demagogue," wrote in the Providence Journal
that workers must resist Trump, because "I know real down-home talk when I hear it, but I also can detect baloney and bluster. Trump is full of the latter. Trump says he loves 'right to work' legislation that would make it harder for workers to speak up on the job. He has routinely attacked the rights of workers at his own company. And despite the fact that American workers haven't gotten a real raise in 40 years, Trump says wages are too high.
However, those techniques are not swaying large number of members who otherwise have voted Democratic in the past.
Although the only trade unions that have endorsed Trump are the National Border Patrol Council and the New England Police Benevolent Association, his appeal even in those unions officially most vehemently against him is quite strong.
In addition to tapping into a general frustration with Washington politics, the Washington Times reports that his tough on trade message and promises to punish companies that move manufacturing factories to cheaper foreign markets are striking a chord among many working class voters.
The fact that union members are currently bitterly divided between support for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders also does not help with the effort to unite against Trump.
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