Union leaders are expressing concern over how much Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump appeals to unionized workers, according to reports Wednesday.
National union leaders have adamantly opposed Trump over what they feel are extremist and bigoted views. The business mogul’s views on trade and immigration, alongside his decisive tone, has gained him significant support among workers. Union leaders are now concerned that they have lost their members to the outspoken candidate.
“Everybody recognizes the enormous threat Trump poses” Communications Workers of America Political Director Robert Master told The Wall Street Journal. “There’s an element in that right-wing populism that is appealing to some of our members, there’s no question about that.”
National unions have overwhelming endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president. Wall Street Journal/NBC News polling data, however, shows Clinton and Trump both have 44 percent support among union households. AFL-CIO Political Director Mike Podhorzer notes union workers became less supportive once they learned where Trump stood on workplace issues.
“It changed the prism that they were looking at the election through,” Podhorzer told The Wall Street Journal. “From being this popular entertainment game show to ‘this is really going to affect my life.'”
Trump has expressed support for right-to-work while also noting the minimum wage should be left to the states. The union has already mobilized members and supporters on the grassroots level to oppose Trump, but thus far the attacks have not had a huge impact.
Trump has also opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership and illegal immigration, which many worry will cost workers their jobs. He has made illegal immigration a defining attribute of his campaign, calling for tougher immigration policies and even proposing a temporary ban on Muslims after a surge in Islamic terrorist attacks.
The AFL-CIO, alongside several other top unions, launched a political action fund May 12 with environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer. The union’s aim was to influence the current presidential election and oppose Trump. Several trade unions promptly wrote a letter to the unions arguing many of the environmentalist policies Steyer supports kills good blue-collar jobs.
The Trump, Clinton and Sanders campaigns did not respond to requests for comment by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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