Justin Miller

 Justin Miller is a writing fellow for The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Trump the Union-Busting Employer Will Now Dictate Nation’s Labor Policy

A litigious businessman with thousands of employees and a history of labor disputes is assuming the presidency. Will Trump’s worker policies create an ethical quagmire?

(Photo: AP/Evan Vucci) Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, in Las Vegas. P resident-elect Donald Trump’s career as a businessman with ventures and investments around the world will present an unprecedented number of presidential conflicts of interest when he moves into the Oval Office. As the employer of some 34,000 people, Trump is hardly a disinterested party when it comes to dictating national labor and employment policy. His appointments to the federal courts, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Department of Labor, as well as his consideration of worker-related legislation and his ability to use executive action to resolve labor disputes are rife with potential conflicts, ethics experts say. One glaring conflict—his refusal to bargain with unionized workers at his Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas—could take center stage once Trump becomes president in January. Five days a week, Maria Mendoza cleans the bathrooms, kitchens, and living...

Trump Falsely Claims Credit for Saving Jobs, and News Outlets Lap it Up

(Wikimedia Commons)

 

How does Donald Trump plan to save American jobs? Apparently, by claiming that he’s saved the ones that were never going anywhere in the first place.   

On Thursday night, the president-elect tweeted out that he had just received a call from his “friend” Bill Ford, the chairman of Ford Motor Co., who told him that Ford will be keeping the Lincoln car manufacturing plant in Kentucky—and not sending the operation to Mexico.

Trump, of course, then claimed that he had helped keep those jobs in the country.

That’s mighty impressive for a man who hasn’t even taken his seat in the Oval Office yet. Reuters, and many other news outlets, took his claim at face value. The Reuters headline declared: “Trump says Ford not moving U.S. plant to Mexico.”

One problem: It’s not true. The company operates two plants in Louisville, Kentucky—one that manufactures the Lincoln Navigator; another that makes the Lincoln MKC and the Ford Escape. But Ford never said it was moving those sport utility vehicle plants to Mexico to begin with.

After Trump’s tweets, the company released a statement saying that it had told the president-elect that they were no longer moving an MKC production shift from Kentucky to Mexico. However, the jobs at that Kentucky plant were never at risk, as The Washington Post reported, because plans were already afoot to increase production of the Ford Escape.

“Whatever happens in Louisville, it will not lose employment,” a union vice president of the United Auto Workers told The Detroit Free Press on November 9. “They cannot make enough Escapes.”

Never mind. Trump’s tweets, and the misleading news reports that ensued, have taking hold the internet, morphing into even more inaccurate news reports, and reassuring Trump’s rabid social-media followers that he is, indeed, the savior of the American manufacturing industry. No amount of fact-checking will change that.

Lost in all this, and of course unmentioned by Trump, is that Ford is still shifting its small-car production—of vehicles like the Focus—to Mexico. This despite Trump’s threats that he institute a 35 percent tariff on imports of vehicles made there.  

Stalled at the Federal Level, Democracy Advocates Look to the States

Republicans control Washington now, but a string of successful campaign finance ballot initiatives at the state and local level has buoyed the democracy movement.

(Photo: Every Voice) Demonstrators listen to speakers at the Democracy Awakening rally outside the United States capitol this past summer. D emocracy advocates who had hoped to reverse Citizens United under a President Clinton now face the prospect that a GOP-controlled Congress and White House will instead move in the opposite direction, and blow the campaign-finance rules even further out of the water. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Capitol Hill’s consummate booster of campaign-finance deregulation, is already plotting how to dramatically loosen contribution limits to political parties and candidates, and block disclosure for dark-money groups. Instead of overturning Citizens United, the Supreme Court will likely tilt further to the right under Donald Trump, and is primed to take up a case that could bring back the soft-money era , when corporations and unions poured unlimited contributions into campaign coffers. But even as their hopes of playing offense at the...

Things Are About to Get Really Ugly for the Labor Movement

Unions were finally on an upswing. Now, they’re staring down the barrel of the GOP’s gun. 

(Photo: AP/Evan Vucci) Vice president-elect Mike Pence watches as President-elect Donald Trump speaks during an election night rally in New York. T he nation’s union movement is suffering from collective whiplash. As the Rust Belt states fell late last Tuesday night, so too did labor’s hopes for a Democratic president who had promised to lift up working people. Instead it was forced to confront the reality of an explosive faux-populist taking power in tandem with a pro-business GOP Congress that has been waiting for its chance to dismantle a beleaguered, but recently rising, labor movement. The promising signs of a rejuvenation for workers’ interests and rights in recent years have all come under a dark cloud of uncertainty and dread. For starters, with Trump promising to be a regulatory “reformer,” Republicans and their business lobbyist colleagues hope to roll back every single one of President Obama’s labor initiatives that were, slowly but surely, tilting the regulatory system...

What Workers and Their Friends Should Watch for on Election Day

From pro- (and anti-) worker ballot measures to state legislature races to unions’ swing-state GOTV, there’s a lot for the labor movement to keep an eye on. 

AP/Tampa Bay Times, Skip O'Rourke
(Photo: AP/Tampa Bay Times, Skip O'Rourke) Roderick Livingston protests in front of the McDonald's in Tampa, Florida in 2015. E lection Day is finally here (phew!), and as usual, there’s a lot at stake for working Americans. On the presidential level (at the risk of stating the obvious), there is a huge chasm between Clinton and Trump when it comes to backing a progressive, working-families agenda. While Donald Trump has promised to be a voice for the (white male) working class, his proposed policies won’t magically bring back manufacturing and offshored jobs. In fact, his proposals would be downright disastrous for working people. Hillary Clinton, by contrast, supports a $12 federal minimum wage and mandatory paid sick and family leave, advocates ambitious policies that would boost infrastructure spending and lift up workers in the child- and home-care industries, and promises to push through immigration reform, which would create a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented...

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