The presidential election is over. Trump captured the Electoral College even though a majority of people in this country voted – if they voted at all – against Trump. The big business media immediately ran headlines blaming the struggling, so-called “white working class” for Trump’s victory. It is sadly true that millions of working-class whites embraced or accepted Trump’s hateful rhetoric attacking Black people, all people of color, immigrants, Muslims, women, people with disabilities, Jewish people and the LGBTQ community. Many workers and small business people, including those who lost everything after the 2007-8 recession, fell for his empty promises to fix the economy. But the polls acknowledge that the strongest base of support for Trump’s fascist campaign was white people making over $70,000.
There is only one multinational, global working class. Media “experts” don’t acknowledge that Black, Brown, or Indigenous voters are also part of the working class. Workers who can’t vote, including prisoners, undocumented workers and those under 18 years of age are part of the working class. In fact these are the most exploited and oppressed sectors of the working class. There is nothing in Trump’s program for any of us. Truly ALL workers and oppressed people are hurt, threatened and divided by bigotry and scapegoating.
Now, unfortunately, leaders of the AFL-CIO as well as the Autoworkers, Steelworkers and Building Trades unions have adopted the posture of “give Trump a chance.” This is a betrayal of our class interests.
What does the working class need? Workers need jobs – a full employment agenda that includes a massive public works program and a shorter work week with no cut in pay. A national health program that leaves no one choosing between paying costly premiums and going without insurance. A moratorium on evictions, foreclosures and utility shutoffs. Quality public education and free college tuition. Restore and expand the social safety net, which has seen heartless cuts in food stamps, welfare, unemployment benefits and more. An end to so-called trade agreements like NAFTA and the TPP that hurt workers worldwide – not just here. Stop union-busting by the bosses; reverse the dozens of anti-union bills passed by state legislatures across the country including Jim Crow “Right-to-Work” (for less) laws. Labor laws should not be written by people like the Koch brothers and the DeVos family. Money to rebuild the infrastructure of our cities, not for the prison-industrial complex, the military budget and wars against oppressed people around the world. Reparations for our communities — from Detroit and Flint to Puerto Rico – suffering from racist austerity.
Hate crimes against people of color, Muslims, women, the LGBTQ community and immigrants – on the rise since the Trump election – must be forcibly stopped along with the hateful rhetoricà that encourages them. Plug the school-to-prison pipeline. Short term projects that poison the waterways – like DAPL—create no permanent jobs and ultimately only help Big Oil & the banks.
The epidemic of police murders of Black, Brown and Indigenous people must come to an end! Jail killer cops! Black lives matter!
The appointment of fast food CEO Andrew Puzder is a declaration of war against Fight for $15. We need $15 and a union – not as a ceiling but a foundation to build upon. All workers deserve at least $15 and with the right to organize and collectively bargain. This includes workers in the U.S. South, farm laborers, domestic workers, workers with disabilities, prisoners, vulnerable undocumented workers often subjected to wage theft, and super-exploited precarious workers (often mislabeled self-employed).
Workers and oppressed people are powerful! Our movement was growing even before the election. The number of strikes went up after years of decline; Verizon workers, Minnesota nurses and the Harvard dining hall workers were victorious. Prisoners struck on the anniversary of the Attica Rebellion. Rebellions have broken out in Ferguson, Baltimore, Milwaukee and Charlotte. The Black Lives Matter Movement is showing the world what a fightback looks like. The DREAMers, Fight for 15, and Standing Rock are other inspiring examples. Mass youth-led protests erupted as soon as the presidential election results were known.
All of the working class must unite. Organized labor, the first line of defense for the workers and oppressed, must see itself as part of the broader working class movement. Low wage and precarious workers are a part of this movement. Unemployed and underemployed workers are a part. Prisoners are a part. Workers around the globe — super-exploited and often by the same bosses we work for – are a part. Migrant workers, risking their lives to escape war or austerity, are a part. All of us, together, are unstoppable!
We must show Trump, all the politicians and the one-percenters they serve that we refuse to be divided! Build a united front and make January 20 a sea of working class unity! To sign on to this #J20 Labor Call, contact [email protected] **Se habla español** For info on counter-inaugural protests in Washington, D.C. see J20resist.org Labor Donated 12/2016
Resolution in Protest of the Inauguration of President Donald Trump
WHEREAS, the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States has sparked fear and anger in our community, especially among those most marginalized, including immigrants, Muslims, people of color, women, the disabled, and LGBTQ populations.
WHEREAS, the President Elect has publicly supported and endorsed anti-union policies including federal Right to Work laws and is considering appointing to his cabinet people with a track record of promoting such policies
WHEREAS, newly appointed Supreme Court Justices will swing the court to be more consistently anti-union
WHEREAS, the privatization of Social Security and Medicare is likely to be pushed early in the Trump administration
WHEREAS, the diverse membership of the working class and of our unions includes populations that candidate Trump threatened with bigoted policies and hateful rhetoric
WHEREAS, that hateful rhetoric has already been seen in the form of an increase of hate crimes and violence against marginalized communities which overlap with our membership
WHEREAS, it is the obligation of organized labor to defend our members from attacks and promote an elevated and equal quality of life for all workers
Whereas, spontaneous demonstrations have erupted across the country immediately following the election of Donald Trump. Many organizations of students, labor, women, and various communities are continuing to plan massive protests including on Martin Luther King, Jr Day and culminating in action on the day of the inauguration of Donald Trump, January 20, 2017
WHEREAS, the day on which we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr who fought against racism and bigotry and championed the issues of the working class is just four days before the inauguration of Donald Trump.
WHEREAS, the power of organized labor is not reliant upon the occupant of any government office up to and including the office of President of the United States
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the SF Labor Council endorses and encourages all members to participate in the nationwide call for protest and actions beginning with those honoring and continuing the struggle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr on his day, Monday, January 16 and culminating in a national day of action and protest and a reassertion of the power of organized labor on Friday January, 20, the day of the Inauguration of President Donald Trump
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the SFLC encourages each of its affiliates to use the day of action on Friday, January 20 to display our power, unity and solidarity by planning an action around an existing labor dispute and inviting all of its members to participate.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we urge all affiliates to pass similar resolutions.