New York, NY – In just the last few weeks alone, Donald Trump has had time to threaten war with South Korea, insult hurricane
victims in Puerto Rico and dispatch Mike Pence to a football game in Indianapolis so the VP could jeer NFL players exercising their 1st Amendment rights. But one thing New York City’s least favorite son hasn’t had time for, despite lots of orange-tinged bluster, is preserving the jobs of hundreds of steel workers hit with pink slips in Pennsylvania. [Listen Here]
As United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard made it clear on the latest episode Blue Collar Buzz, the unabated dumping of cheap Asian steel into the U.S. market is, right now, costing American families deeply. And earlier congressional investigations into the matter have produced bupkes.
“The disturbing thing about this is, again, the president did big talk, big photo ops and all that kind of malarky — and not one thing has happened,” Gerard told Blue Collar Buzz. “And what’s made it worse, during the time that this investigation was going on, the Russians, the Chinese, the Koreans, the Vietnamese, the Japanese, have flooded the market with steel in anticipation of there being a remedy that we called for in the investigation. And because the president has done nothing — zero, zilch, nothing — imports are up 21.6 percent in the last three months.”
That situation forced ArcelorMittal to shut down its Conshohocken, Pennsylvania plant, laying off hundreds in the process and sending shockwaves throughout the local economy.
“There were actually hearings that the new administration held back in June in Washington,” Ohio Representative Marcy Kaptur further explained. “Secretary Wilbur Ross, the new Secretary of Commerce, was the spearhead behind that hearing and I testified on behalf of all the steel companies and workers of our country at that time asking for immediate action. And we were promised that there would be a decision by the end of June. And here we are at the beginning of October and there is no decision.”
But, you know, Trump and his enablers have been extremely busy aggrandizing themselves at every turn and destroying the world.
“Social dumping is taking good jobs in America, moving them to another country, and then they’re shipping those ones back here because they got them made for 10-cents on the dollar someplace else,” Gerard added. “That’s social dumping and that ought to be outlawed. And American citizens ought to be outraged that kind of crap is going on.”
Oh, if only there was a major opposition party in this Oligarchically-owned country of ours to provide American workers with some much needed relief…and a few checks and balances along the way.
A thoroughly frustrated Gerard was explicit in his condemnation of the status quo: “We’ve got to get Democrats to understand: you get a declining Labor Movement…you get the elimination of the Labor Movement — you get the elimination of the Democratic Party.”
Congress Member Kaptur called on the Trump administration to provide some real remedies now.
“If the government of the United States is going to put American workers out of work for a foreign policy objective, we ought to have bridge financing that becomes part of any trade bill so that the workers who are harmed by that dumping receive payment for the negative impact of that particular agreement,” she said. “It isn’t that it’s a normal market thing — the government has negotiated this. So, they are negotiating that your job be eliminated.”
LaborPress’ “Blue Collar Buzz” airs every Sunday night from 9 to 10 p.m. on AM970 The Answer. Listen online at LaborPress.org, or check out the library of past episodes at www.am970theanswer.com.