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Ka Boom!

That’s what America heard on election night.

What it means is that workers are tired of being double-talked by slick politicians – people who say they are with us, but voted over 40 years to turn our economy into a horror show for working people.

This Union stood for change in 2016. We supported the fight by endorsing Bernie Sanders. When he failed to win the primaries, we supported Hillary Clinton. That was the best choice for workers in our view. Some of our own members disagreed.

Donald Trump won this election in part, by appealing to the worst in people. To be really clear, we believe that most Americans do not support the hate speech he used to enflame people.

ATU will fight attacks on civil rights

ATU will stand strong to fight against efforts to attack civil rights, and we do expect extremist legislation from a Republican Congress. There is a very dark side to his victory.

We understand the parallels between our times and the wake of the last worldwide depression in the 1930s. We must be vigilant and perhaps courageous in pushing back against any efforts to strip any Americans of their human rights as a pretext for “making America great.”

American workers turned a corner

But, the silver lining, if there is one, is that American workers have turned a corner. They are saying through this revolt that the status quo has lost its status. That no longer will we nod our heads to the establishment while we all suffer. 

ATU has said that from the beginning. We hope the Trump administration will make good its promise to help America’s working people.
It must be our job to unite workers around principles that will make all of our lives better.

Turbulent waters ahead

Brace yourselves, however. We are likely to hit turbulent waters. Many of the programs we will see proposed and perhaps enacted could do the opposite of what Trump voters expect, and what he promised.

And, we must resist attacks on our constitutional rights. That includes the rights of all Americans.

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

He is perhaps best remembered for the quotation:

First they came for the Socialists,
and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists,
and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.