March 18, 2016
By Steven Wishnia
Canton, OHIO – On the eve of the Ohio primary March 15, union leaders in this working-class city of 72,500 worry that Donald Trump is winning support from some of their members with his rants against illegal immigrants and trade deals with China and Mexico. "I view him as a radical and a racist and I don't want to be affiliated with that," said Curtis Green, vice president of United Steelworkers Local 1123.
"But if you say what you mean, a lot of guys see that in Trump and they respect that.” Ohio has lost more than 300,000 manufacturing jobs since 1990, more than half of those in the last nine years, and Local 1123’s membership has fallen from 6,700 in the mid-1980s to 1,800. Local 1123 political director Keith Strobelt speculated that “several hundred of our members” might back the billionaire, because “he says a lot of things they say around their dinner tables.” The union has not endorsed a presidential candidate, but has praised Democrat Bernie Sanders, who has strongly opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade deals. Read more