For most of the 2016 presidential election, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has credited his unlikely rise to blue collar workers who have abandoned the Democrats in favor of his straight talking candidacy. Despite this claim, it appears any alleged goodwill union members may have had toward Trump has immediately dried up with the announcement of Indiana’s Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate.
A largely uncontroversial governor from the Midwest, Gov. Pence is virtually unknown to most Americans. To union leaders, however, he is known to be a fierce supporter of Right to Work laws and an opponent of stable blue collar union jobs.
“Over the course of his administration, Mike Pence has shown time and time again that he has no respect for the rights of hard working Indianans,” says Richard Dalton, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18 in neighboring Ohio. “There is no doubt in my mind that a Trump Pence administration would be disastrous for labor rights, middle class Americans and the economy as a whole.”
Right to Work laws permit skilled workers to operate in a certain trade without having to pay dues to a labor union. Labor leaders have long maintained that such laws depreciate wages, lead to reduced worker benefits and harm hard working middle class Americans. There are currently 26 states in the country with Right to Work laws implemented.
Even though Indiana’s Right to Work law was passed under Pence’s predecessor, he has consistently voiced his support for the law and his administration has defended it from several labor union lawsuits. He also claimed that Right to work was “an enormously important asset” to Indiana’s economy.
Additionally, last year he signed a bill that repealed an 80-year-old state law that set a common, fair wage for construction jobs.
Between his staunch advocacy for the controversial legislation and his recent actions impacting workers in Indiana, labor supporters around the country have begun to speak out against his alliance with Donald Trump.
“A Trump Pence ticket does not have the wellbeing and best interests of hard working families in mind,” says Dalton. “Gov. Pence has demonstrated time and time again that worker rights and middle class interests simply aren’t as important to him as they should be. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like running with Trump is going to change his position on the subject much. ”
For more information on Right to Work in Ohio, visit: http://protectohiosmiddleclass.org
SOURCE: Keep Ohio's Heritage
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