Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Working With the President-Elect, and Holding Him Accountable

The election results are in, and the voters have spoken. In January, Donald Trump will take the oath of office as our country's 45th president.

President-Elect Donald Trump
The positions of both candidates were clear, and unions across the country had lined up behind Mrs. Clinton because of her support for organized labor and the issues we've always fought for.

Win or lose, in the United States our tradition is to support the person elected to the highest office in the land and give that person a chance to do the job. At the same time, the concept of a "loyal opposition" is to continue to advocate for the things you hold dear, while also holding elected officials accountable for their decisions while in office.

Immediately after the election, our national affiliate, North America's Building Trades Unions (NABTU), issued a statement congratulating Mr. Trump on his victory“After a long and sometimes divisive campaign, we echo the words of Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton that the time has come for our nation to come together as one united people and to apply our collective energies in a non-partisan fashion in order to move our great nation forward," said the statement.
“Our nation has always been strong and resilient when it comes to government transition," it continued. "We have always been able to withstand contentious political discourse and debate. In every election, we accept the decision of the American electorate, and then we go about working to coalesce around our new President, not as Democrats and Republicans, but as Americans, and to begin the work of building an even brighter future for our country."

On the other side of the coin, Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, issued a statement right before Thanksgiving that reminded us of the "loyal opposition" role: "This election season we heard many promises of plenty—promises to create jobs, to raise wages, to protect working people from economic insecurity. Yet we know the business lobbyists are already making plans for how the Trump administration can cut working people’s wages, privatize Medicare and Social Security and attack workers’ rights on the job. This Thanksgiving, the labor movement reaffirms our commitment to hold America’s newly elected president accountable to the promises he made to working people."

We just witnessed a presidential election like none other our country, one that elected a candidate like none other before him. Like the NABTU, we wish him well and hope that he pursues policies that benefit American workers and their families. But also, like Mr. Trumka pointed out, we will continue to fight for the issues we believe in, and pledge to hold President Trump accountable for his promises, his decisions, and the results he produces for the American people.

The East Central Ohio Building & Construction Trades Council is online at www.eastcentralohiobuildingtrades.com.

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