While investigations into alleged Russian collusion and interference in the 2016 elections are ongoing, the coverage of these events has smothered significant coverage of the Trump administration’s alliance with the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress and the Byzantine network of 1 percent-funded anti-labor institutions.
This alliance is now reaching the height of its power to achieve its goal to destroy the American labor movement.
President Trump — despite his attempts to co-opt private-sector unions during his presidential campaign and through his decisions to move forward on the controversial Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines backed by construction and trade unions — has fooled no one who knows all too well the anti-labor sentiments of the easily distracted Twitter fetishist, real estate mogul and reality show television star.
“The Donald” dangles pretty prizes and bright shiny objects to the trades unions, such as his proposed multitrillion dollar infrastructure plan. Yet he recently reaffirmed his support for a national so-called “right-to-work” law, has appointed a former corporate lawyer to the U.S. Supreme Court, and uses rhetoric, such “draining the swamp,” to justify flushing away the rights of federal workers in his proposed budget.
He sits poised to sign potential legislation from his allies in Congress to do away with overtime compensation and to gut long-standing labor-management agreements between the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs and union workers.
In the meantime, a multitude of court cases — litigated and financed by the Koch-controlled National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and other anti-union interests — wind their way through the courts.
Several of these cases will be before the newly-appointed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who now has the whip hand left vacant since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Scalia’s sudden demise in February 2016 was a reprieve for U.S. unions as the court was preparing to issue a decision in the Friedrichs case.
Now with a new judge in the anti-labor corner to decide on vital cases expected before the court in the months to come, we must prepare to fight against this convention of devils out to destroy our union power.
The DC 37 Blog is an online publication of DC 37, AFSCME, which represents 125,000 municipal workers in New York City.