The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill

America’s working poor can’t survive on just $7.25


I’m not looking to pick another fight with Donald Trump. I did plenty of that before I recently retired as president of the local union that fought to save Carrier jobs in Indiana.

But Carrier just delivered a new round of layoff notices to hundreds of workers — and President Trump could have stopped it. And that just ticks me off.

{mosads}During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump barn-stormed America promising that he was going deliver “more jobs and better wages” by stopping corporations from shipping our jobs overseas.


We thought he was making good on that promise when he showed up in Indiana and announced that he saved our jobs from moving to Mexico. But it wasn’t the whole truth. And when I called him out on it, he took to Twitter to attack me.

The reality is that by the end of this year, Carrier and its parent United Technologies will have shipped a total of 1,250 good union jobs from Indiana to Mexico.

But the problem is much bigger than just United Technologies.

During President Trump’s first six months in the White House, there have been 37 mass layoffs in Indiana. Across the country, more than 140,000 workers have been given pink slips and companies have continued to ship jobs overseas. To add insult to injury, wages have fallen nationwide since Trump took office.

He keeps talking about saving jobs and raising wages, but he’s failing to lead.

As the CEO of the U.S government, President Trump has the power to hold corporations accountable to workers. With the simple stroke of a pen, he can tell corporations that they can’t do business with the federal government and get rich off taxpayer money unless they stop offshoring jobs and raise wages for the 20 million workers employed by federal contractors.

But despite signing 93 executive actions so far, he has yet to sign anything to stop offshoring or deliver better wages for America’s workers. In fact, United Technologies just got another half a billion in taxpayer-funded contracts this year.

United Technologies isn’t the only corporation that’s still taking our money and then turning around and betraying our workers. Research by Good Jobs Nation and Public Citizen shows that 56 percent of federal contractors, like Verizon and GE, continue to receive $200 billion in lucrative taxpayer contracts while they offshore our jobs.

Despite calls by both Democrats and Republicans to act, he’s refusing to deliver. In fact, Trump’s ignoring a bipartisan effort in the U.S. House and Senate to take legislative and executive action to stop taxpayer dollars from rewarding call center companies that are shipping good union jobs abroad right now.

Call centers were supposed replace all the manufacturing jobs that disappeared in the Midwest. But in recent years, we lost 200,000 of those jobs to places like the Philippines and Honduras. Now all that’s left are low-wage McDonald’s and Walmart jobs. Who can survive on $7.25?

America’s working people deserve better. The truth is that Trump won’t make good on his promises unless we make him do it.

That’s why I’m coming out of retirement and going on a rust-belt “Pickup Truck Tour” with Good Jobs Nation, the Communications Workers of America and other allies to call on Trump to pick-up his pen and keep his pledge to workers.

I’ll be kicking off the tour in Indianapolis today with Senator Bernie Sanders. Our caravan will then make stops in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, and Indiana — the hard-hit places that handed Trump the presidency.

Along the way, we’ll organize tens of thousands of workers — both online and in the streets — to demand that President Trump take keep his promises.

This nation was built by workers like me. We deserve better than empty promises.

Chuck Jones is the retired president of Indiana’s United Steelworkers Local 1999. 

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.

Tags Bernie Sanders Donald Trump

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