(KENOSHA, WI) — Today, on the same day as Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Kenosha, former UAW Local 72 President John Drew, Democratic Party of Wisconsin State Chair Ben Wikler, 66th and 65th Assembly District Representatives Greta Neubauer and Todd Ohnstad, respectively, spoke out with members of the community against the lineage of broken promises Donald Trump has made to working people.
In 2017, Donald Trump’s signed into law his tax scam bill, a massive handout to the richest Americans that will ultimately cost middle class families in the long run. In addition, it took away the ability for working people to itemize and deduct their business expenses, costing some thousands of dollars. This comes on top of the up to $1,000 average families will lose due to his erratic trade war with China.
Trump promised he’d bring back manufacturing jobs and wages, and yet Wisconsin has lost 6,500 of those jobs this year while wages remain stagnant. In addition, his personal attacks against Wisconsin based Harley Davidson and his trade war has cost the company, who saw a 24% downturn this quarter as they’ve continually laid off workers.
To add insult to injury, Trump claimed he was the president who could pass a large infrastructure bill and promised time and again he would do so. This would be a boon to organized labor, but Trump broke that promise too.
Below are quotes from the press conference participants, elected officials, and local union leaders.
Mandela Barnes, Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin: Donald Trump has broken his promise to improve the lives of hard working Wisconsinites. He’s taking us in the wrong direction with his erratic trade war with China, his attack on workers protections, and his cozy relationship with mega donors like the Uline’s who have bankrolled politicians who have made it their life’s mission to dismantle unions. The mere fact that Trump spends more time tweeting and binging Fox News than promoting policies that would help working people shows just how much he cares about the struggles our fellow Wisconsinites face.
Ben Wikler, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin: Our state is facing a crisis — and it’s because of Donald Trump’s broken promises to all of us. He barnstormed our state in 2016, claiming left and right that he was the one to deliver an infrastructure package that would fix our roads and bridges, that working families would see their wages go up, and that our economy would continuously grow exponentially. This has proven to be nothing more than a laundry list of broken promises and Wisconsinites literally can’t afford another four years.
Greta Neubauer, State Assembly Representative for the 66th District: Here in Wisconsin, we have been working tirelessly to tackle our biggest problems, but we cannot solve the problems we face by ourselves. We need a president who will be our partner — who will use the power of the federal government to support and heal our communities. Trump has taken a different tact, seemingly seizing every opportunity to leave us further behind. Voters in Wisconsin weren’t asleep in 2016 — the majority believed that he meant what he promised — that he’d bring back manufacturing jobs, that he would have the backs of working people and not the CEOs of giant corporations, and that communities like ours would be revived. He broke every single one of those promises. We will continue to suffer as long as Donald Trump and Mike Pence are in charge. But it doesn’t have to be this way. 2020 is around the corner. We’ve got a lot of work to do. I’m in. I hope you are too.
Todd Ohnstad, State Assembly Representative for the 65th District: The reason Mike Pence is here is because he knows like we all do that Wisconsin is a key state in the next election…It is about our future — that is why he is here. He is here to take away the future of working people. The failed policies of the Trump-Pence three years we have endured have not brought anything new in terms of protections for working people. We need to everything we can from talking to our friends and family — getting out to make phone calls and knocking on doors.
Tip McGuire, State Assembly Representative for the 64th District: President Trump promised to deliver an infrastructure package that would fix our roads and bridges and deliver good paying jobs to our community. He has failed to do that. Our local economy is suffering from eroding infrastructure. We deserve a president who will have our backs and actually deliver on their promise to restore our roads and bridges.
John Drew, Former UAW Local 72 President and current Vice Chair of the UAW Wisconsin State CAP Council: The labor movement is about people standing up for better wages, benefits and working conditions. Trump ran for President promising that he would take care of working people, but just like everything else he promised, it was a lie. And Trump and Pence have been on a broken promises tour ever since. This will continue and get louder and louder until November 2020. But working people can’t afford four more years of broken promises. We need a President who will hear our concerns and keep their word—–not someone who sells us out.
John Schmitt, President/Business Manager of the Wisconsin Laborers’ District Council: We’ve been waiting infrastructure week after infrastructure week for Donald Trump to deliver on his promise to deliver legislation that would address our crumbling roads and bridges, and here we are still waiting empty-handed. It’s clear that Trump sold us a bill of goods and does not take seriously the deterioration of our infrastructure that is leaving Wisconsinites and Americans across the country in a risky situation. Not only could we keep people safe with infrastructure investment, it would be a boon to the economy and spur job growth. It’s time for Trump to stop breaking his promises and take real action on this issue.
Dean A. Warsh, Business Manager of IBEW Local 494: We cannot afford another four years of Donald Trump’s broken promises. We’ve been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for Donald Trump to come through on the numerous promises he made to us working Wisconsinites, but now our patience is up. Our wages are stagnant, health care costs continue to skyrocket, and his inability to deliver a trade deal that works for us is crushing our manufacturers and small businesses. We deserve a president who understands the pain we face and will work with us – Trump has shown no interest in that.
Michael Bolton, USW District 2: said that the administration has not lived up to the promises it made to working families during the last election cycle and so far has shown no interest in advancing any policy to improve wages, benefits or working conditions at the expense of corporate executives or Wall Street investors.
“This administration exaggerates both the depth and breadth of how its approach to trade impacts jobs in certain industries or at specific companies but accepts no responsibility for the negative consequences of those same policies for working people overall,” Bolton said. “American workers still need a level playing field for international trade, stronger unions, higher pay, dignity and security in retirement and better and more affordable healthcare, but the President, his allies and appointees have aligned against them.”
Valerie Landowski, Communications Director AFSCME Wisconsin Council 32: Donald Trump assured the hardworking people of Wisconsin that he cared about our struggles, and for nearly four years, he’s done nothing but break his promise. Donald Trump said he wanted to “make America wealthy again.” The question is: for whom? Wisconsinites are working longer hours, in more dangerous environments, for a paycheck that’s getting stretched further each day. It’s getting harder for Wisconsin’s devoted public servants to make it, while Donald Trump’s friends get richer. We know how to make America wealthy again: by restoring our voice in the workplace, protecting our freedom to organize, and ensuring fair wages. We make Wisconsin happen, we make America happen, and we’re being left behind.