Labour leaders prepare to face challenges of Trump era

At the World Executive Board in Nyon, global union leaders issued a response to the xenophobic and divisive campaign rhetoric of President-elect Donald Trump. Leaders urged Trump not to continue on the hateful path established by his election trail and hoped that unions could work with Trump for the benefit of American workers. The consensus of the World Executive Board was that the work of unions striving for social justice, fair wages and decent work must continue with renewed urgency and vigour.

Unions are more relevant and significant than ever, with the ability to counter the potential extremism of a Trump government.

“Mr. Trump, our 2.2 million members hope that the disparaging rhetoric of the campaign trail is not a preview of your Presidency,” said Valarie Long, International Secretary of the SEIU. “We must continue to fight for decent jobs, fair working conditions and disenfranchised communities.”

“The Fight for 15 campaign has shown across the country that hundreds of thousands of Americans are politically engaged and that we can break through for workers’ rights.”

Chris Shelton of the Communications Workers of America said, “Trump has built his career on shafting workers, unions and small businesses and we must fight to ensure that this does not continue on an even larger scale.”

“We must stand up and fight back in these trying times,” said Hee-Won Brindle Khym from RWDSU/ UFCW. “Together, we can resist and work to make America better.”

UNI General Secretary Philip Jennings said, “At UNI Global Union, we stand for a world free from fear. We reject the politics of hate and of division, of racism and of xenophobia. We are an organization that builds bridges in 150 nations and we hope that President-elect Trump will be a President for ALL Americans.”