Pittsburgh plant workers just revealed they had to go to Trump’s rally or go without pay

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President Trump trashed union leadership at a Shell plant even after management forced its unionized workers to attend one of his hate speeches at their plant, or lose pay.

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Trump visited a Shell petrochemical plant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this past Tuesday, but today the news slipped out about the coercive methods used to guarantee a larger audience for his maniacal rantings.

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Over a dozen unions work at Shell’s plant, and missing the day of pay could cost a worker more than $700.

Nevertheless, the workers were only given the alternative of an unpaid day off or watching Trump blow smoke, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

“Your attendance is not mandatory,” read the rules that Shell sent to union leaders a day ahead of the visit to the $6 billion construction site. But only those that showed up at 7 a.m., scanned their cards, and prepared to stand for hours — through lunch but without lunch — would be paid. “NO SCAN, NO PAY,” the rules said.

“No yelling, shouting, protesting or anything viewed as resistance will be tolerated at the event,” the paper read.

If all of that wasn’t bad enough, after forcing the union workers to watch Trump’s speech, he took the time to attack their leadership for standing up for their interests instead of kowtowing to him. The Post-Gazette reports:

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“I’m going to speak to some of your union leaders to say, ‘I hope you’re going to support Trump.’ OK?” he said. “And if they don’t, vote them the hell out of office because they’re not doing their job.”

Donald Trump has lied on Fox News in the past and said that he’s “great with unions,” but during the 2016 campaign, he said that UAW auto workers should make less money, and notoriously tried to bust the union that his maids tried to form at his Las Vegas hotel.

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If that wasn’t enough evidence that he’s anti-unions, Trump went and sued the Vegas union that he tried to bust after it sent out mailers correctly arguing that he’s terrible with labor.

As president, it didn’t even take an entire year for Trump to roll back many of the key protections for unionized labor.

Last year, Donald Trump took advantage of Labor Day to launch a mean-spirited attack on Richard Trumka, the head of the national AFL-CIO union.

But this year, after the president’s pick for Labor Secretary Alex Acosta quit when his coverup for an Amerian oligarch pedophile was exposed, unions spoke out against the acting Secretary Patrick Pizzella. Of course, the acting secretary has unseemly ties to Russia as well.

Last week, the GOP-dominated National Labor Relations Board just issued new proposed rules aimed at forcing union elections to happen under coercive circumstances, which aren’t permitted now.

Only today it emerged that one of America’s biggest construction unions is getting ready to go to war with Trump over his Labor Department’s decisions about apprenticeships.

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It’s no wonder that one of America’s largest firefighter unions handed out a major primary endorsement to Vice President Joe Biden, but it is a surprise that Trump whined loudly because he imagined they would consider endorsing him.

The bottom line is that a “labor-friendly” Trump is no more than a myth.

And this week’s coercion and abuse of organized laborers and attacks on unions in Pittsburgh should be enough to make any unionized worker understand that.

That’s important because Trump surprised to the upside during the 2016 election with his support from unionized labor.

In 2020, Democrats will need literally every possible ballot cast in their favor to ensure that white supremacists, America’s fascist movement, and its leader Donald Trump are all sent packing.

Grant Stern

Editor at Large

Grant Stern is a columnist for the Washington Press. He's also mortgage broker, writer, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida.

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