Trump Attacks Union Boss Who Fact Checked Him

Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999, has been critical of Trump’s claim to have saved 1,100 jobs at the Indianapolis plant since Tuesday.But shortly after Jones appeared on CNN’s “Erin Burnett Out Front” program Wednesday night, the president-elect appeared to blame union leaders like him for companies leaving the U.S.

“Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!” Trump wrote.

He followed up with another attack just over an hour later: “If United Steelworkers 1999 was any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana.”

Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who is also the governor of Indiana, gave a very different description of the union back in March. He tweeted a photo of a meeting he had about Carrier with Jones and Local 1999 members, calling them “hardworking.”

Jones has complained that Trump has fallen short of his campaign promise to keep Carrier from moving 1,400 jobs to Mexico.

“You made a promise to keep all these jobs. You half-way delivered,” Jones told CNNMoney in an interview earlier Wednesday. “We expect you go back and keep all the jobs.”

Jones added that Trump should also help the 350 workers at an Indianapolis plant owned by another company, Rexnord, which is also slated to move to Mexico. Workers there are also members of USW Local 1999.

“Trump said no companies would be allowed to go to Mexico,” Jones said. “There are more than 300 people over there at Rexnord. He needs to deliver for them as well.”

Jones did not get to speak with Trump when the President-elect visited Carrier last week. But he said he was angry when Trump praised Carrier for “keeping 1,100 people” in jobs that won’t move to Mexico. The real number is 800.

To get the higher number, Carrier and Trump are counting 300 administrative and engineering jobs at a different facility in Indianapolis that were never at risk of being shipped to Mexico.

Carrier is still shifting about 600 jobs building fan coils to Mexico sometime next year. Under the deal with Trump, Carrier only agreed to keep the part of the plant that builds furnaces open, saving the 800 jobs in Indianapolis.

Carrier confirmed to CNNMoney on Friday that it never planned to move the 300 administrative and engineering positions.

“He’s lying his a– off,” Jones said about Trump’s claim of saving 1,100 jobs. “That’s not just my feeling. The numbers prove he’s lying his a– off. It’s a damn shame when you come in and make a false statements like that.”

Later Wednesday Jones elaborated in an interview with Erin Burnett.

Jones said many of the workers whose jobs may now be saved are grateful to Trump, but that some workers who are still worried about losing their jobs are angry.

“We have a lot of our members, when word was coming out… they thought they would have a job. Then they found out Friday, that most likely they weren’t,” he said.

Burnett asked if Jones thought Trump should apologize, and he said, “I think he ought to make sure he gets all the facts straight before he starts talking about what he’s done.”

“I’m extremely grateful for what he did. There’s 800 people who have jobs… It’s not all one sided. I just wished it had been handled in more of a professional matter.”

The Trump transition team did not respond to a request for comment about the jobs still moving to Mexico.

Jones said he hopes the company will offer workers the chance to leave voluntarily with the severance package that was previously negotiated — one week of pay for every year of service.

Ideally, more senior workers at the plant would take the package and retire, which would save the jobs of younger workers. The plant has a large number of senior employees.

“For workers who have 40 years in and were getting close to retirement, that 40 weeks pay might look pretty good,” Jones said. But severance talks have yet to start.

(h/t CNN)


Jones wrote a follow-up explaining his side.

Trump’s Vegas Hotel Spent Half A Million Dollars To Stop Maids From Unionizing

GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump fashions himself a friend of union workers. He has bragged about having good relationships with labor unions. When the AFL-CIO recently endorsed his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, Trump claimed it was he who deserved the labor federation’s coveted backing.

“I believe [union] members will be voting for me in much larger numbers than for her,” Trump declared last month.

Before entering the voting booth, those union members might want to know how much money one of Trump’s businesses has spent in an effort to persuade low-wage workers not to unionize.

The Culinary Workers Union recently organized housekeepers and other service workers at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas. The union won the election in December — but not without a fight from hotel owners Trump Ruffin Commercial LLC. That’s a joint venture between the likely GOP nominee and casino magnate Phil Ruffin, himself a major financial backer of Trump’s presidential run.

According to Labor Department disclosure forms reviewed by The Huffington Post, Trump Ruffin shelled out more than half a million dollars last year to a consulting firm that combats union organizing efforts. The money was paid from Trump Ruffin to Cruz & Associates in a series of seven payments between July and December, totaling $560,631.

Nearly $285,000 of that money was paid over the course of two weeks in December, shortly after the hotel held its union election.

Despite the heavy investment from Trump Ruffin, the union prevailed by a vote of 238 to 209. Trump Ruffin argued in a filing with the National Labor Relations Board that the union illegally swayed the vote, but a regional director for the NLRB rejected those claims. The hotel has asked that the board members in Washington review that decision. According to an NLRB spokeswoman, the board has not yet determined whether it will grant that review.

A lawyer for Trump and a campaign spokeswoman did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the payments. Lupe Cruz, the owner of Cruz & Associates, did not respond to a voicemail left at his office on Friday.

Cruz, himself a former union organizer, is known for his consulting work on behalf of employers battling unions. Trump Ruffin’s disclosure forms listed the payments to Cruz as being for “consultation services and employee educational meetings.”

Companies often enlist the services of anti-union consultants to deal with an organizing campaign. The consultants’ goal is to convince enough workers that forming a union would be against their best interests so that the union eventually loses the election. Unions derisively call these consultants “union busters.” Their tactics can be subtle or not so subtle. When companies retain such firms, they are required to disclose their payments in filings to the Labor Department.

While there’s nothing out of the ordinary about the Trump hotel’s use of labor consultants, the more than half a million dollars spent by the hotel is significant. (For perspective, another Trump enterprise — his presidential campaign — began the month of June with only $1.3 million on hand.) The large sum indicates just how badly hotel management wanted to keep workers from unionizing, despite Trump’s public claims that he is an ally of rank-and-file workers.

The billionaire has spent much of the last week trying to align himself with the downtrodden working class, particularly by speaking out against U.S. trade pacts with other countries. Trump and much of organized labor share the perspective that these have been raw deals for the average American worker.

At different points in his campaign, Trump has also boasted that as a business owner, he’s gotten along well with unions. “I’ve worked with unions over the years — I’ve done very well with unions,” he said at a town hall meeting in February. “And I have tremendous support within unions.”

But the Culinary Workers Union accused management at Trump’s hotel of violating labor law numerous times by allegedly retaliating against pro-union employees during the organizing campaign. The NLRB’s general counsel, who acts as a kind of prosecutor, found merit in many of those charges, accusing the hotel of illegally firing one worker and intimidating others. The labor board has not yet ruled on the matter.

The bargaining unit at Trump International in Las Vegas includes more than 500 housekeepers, restaurant employees and guest services workers, many of them Latino and Filipino. The union has urged the hotel to accept the election results and start bargaining over a first contract.

“We asked the company to sit down and bargain with us back in December, and they should have,” Bethany Khan, a union spokeswoman, previously told The Huffington Post. “They’re running out of time and options to delay this.”

The union claims that housekeepers at Trump’s hotel earn about $3 less per hour than housekeepers at other unionized hotels on the Vegas Strip.

(h/t Huffington Post)


And yet the candidate claims to be a friend of regular working people.