|Thief in Chief II|
The other day I was having my coffee when I heard the TV announcer declare Donald Trump a “Blue-Collar Billionaire” that was appealing to guys and gals, like you and me, in the “Rust Belt” states of the country. I shot coffee through my nose and puked a little in my mouth. Who among us is buying his load of crap? Unfortunately, it is many of my brothers and sisters in the Building Trades. Just a little bit of internet browsing can go a long way to dispel the notion that he is on our side. He is, and always has been, on the side of Donald. He has never done a hard day’s work in his life and cheats those of us that do.
The first informative article I encountered dates back to the construction of that monument to his ego and ill-gotten wealth…Trump Tower in Manhattan by Michael Daly. In his 2011 book Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again he stated that “…Illegal immigration is a wrecking ball aimed at U.S. taxpayers…”. That quote is particularly appropriate for the demolition work he and his henchmen did while clearing the Bonwit Teller Building site he bought for development of his Tower. It seems that Trump was concerned about his construction schedule falling behind and put pressure on his General Contractor; Kaszycki &Sons.
Suddenly, 200 Illegal Polish immigrants, “The Polish Brigade”, appeared (wrecking ball…get it?). Case #83CIV6346 was filed in Manhattan Federal Court in 1983 on behalf of these poor souls by Wendy Sloan for the Homewreckers Union (Laborers now). The few workers that had green cards received $5/hr., illegals were paid $4/hr. (or less) and the pay was spotty or they didn’t get paid at all. Of course, no pension, healthcare, workers comp, FICA or unemployment benefits were tacked on to this paltry sum as they were “off the books”. If they complained; intimidation and threats of deportation kept them in line. The scale in the area, at the time, was $12-14/hr. with benefits. The schedule was 7 days a week; 12 hours a day with no breaks. Many of the Pols slept on the job because they couldn’t afford to stay anywhere else. This group of men stood out like a sore thumb on the job because NONE of them wore hardhats, gloves or any safety equipment like the union guys were required to.
To be fair, the “Brigade” did attempt work stoppages and slowdowns but the ring leaders were found out and…well…vanished. Ms. Sloan was threatened with a $100 million dollar lawsuit by a “John Baron” (Trump admitted that he used this pseudonym at times and he named his youngest son Baron) if she kept making trouble. The suit took 16 years to be settled and, like ALL his settlements, was sealed by the courts. He claimed to know nothing about the illegals but many testified, including a FBI informant, to the contrary.
The Christian Science Monitor reports his latest scams involve H-2B visas. At Mar-A-Lago, his Palm Beach resort, 296 Americans applied for the 500 jobs offered at the hotel/resort. Only 17 were hired and the rest of the positions were filled by H-2B temporary visa workers. He has repeatedly said “You can’t get American people to do the jobs”. I officially call B.S.! No other of the 279 applicants had the qualifications to make beds, bartend, clean the toilets or do landscaping? Really?
Since 2000 he has applied for over 1,100 H-2B visas to fill other jobs at his properties. The Guardian reports that, in Las Vegas, the NLRB has certified a 238-206 vote in favor of unionizing his Vegas hotel. Of course, he is appealing the ruling and, I’m sure, he will drag it out in court for many years to get his way. Meanwhile, his employees’ average $3/hr. less than the 98% of the unionized hotel workers on the Strip and much less in benefits. TRUMP…a real champion of the Blue-Collar Worker ( I puked in my mouth again…sorry)!
His clothing line is made overseas. He has stated he is “100% for Right to Work”. He has said (out loud) at a debate that “our wages are too high”. He is four-square against raising the Minimum Wage and has even suggested that we should do away with it so we can compete with China (where his hats are made), Vietnam (where his furniture is made), Bangladesh (where his clothes are made) etc.. You may not be aware of the fact that 16-19 year olds earn Minimum Wage (30.4% of the workforce). Shockingly, 20-54 year olds represent 36.7% of the workforce depending upon Minimum Wage. So a whopping 67.1% of the workforce is surviving, somehow, on $7.25 that has not advanced since 2008. Obviously, minimum Wage is not just summer jobs for kids…and he is against raising it. Let that sink in. If you are voting for him…you are like a chicken voting for Col. Sanders to win the “Fowl Protector of the Year” award from PETA.
Lawrence E. Oberding