The Trump re-election campaign paid 20,000 dollars to stage a rally at Drake Enterprises, a non-union parts supplier facility in Michigan, back in September. The rally was seemingly an attempt to curry favor with striking union auto workers after President Biden made history the day before as the first President to walk a picket line.
Reporters from the DetroitNews at the Trump event struggled to find any evidence of auto workers in attendance.
This reminds of a practice frequently employed by Russian President Vladimir Putin to show public support for himself. His staff always packs the audience at the dictator’s meetings and rallies with people who pass through a careful selection among loyal employees and their offspring.
About 400 to 500 Trump supporters were inside a Drake Enterprises facility for the speech.
Drake Enterprises employs about 150 people, and the UAW doesn't represent its workforce. It wasn't clear how many auto workers were in the crowd for the speech, which was targeted at them.
One individual in the crowd who held a sign that said "union members for Trump," acknowledged that she wasn't a union member when approached by a Detroit News reporter after the event. Another person with a sign that read "auto workers for Trump" said he wasn't an auto worker when asked for an interview. Both people didn't provide their names.
A statement by Michigan AFL-CIO Communications Director Aaron Pelo in reaction to the news says, “Having to pay twenty grands to rent a non-union facility because nobody wanted to host your event is literally so embarrassing. Trump’s whole bit is that he supports blue-collar Americans and wants to protect auto jobs but he couldn’t even find a real auto worker to hold up a rally sign. Scabbing has truly never looked so desperate.”
Trump’s record is not really pro-worker or middle class. During his presidency he slashed health and safety protections, appointed anti-union persons to the National Labor Relations Board, and slashed taxes for billionaires and wealthy corporations rather than reduce the taxes paid by workers, it said.
The Michigan AFL-CIO, Michigan’s largest labor organization, is a federation representing forty different labor organizations, eighteen different central labor councils, and eight constituency groups representing over one million union members and their families.
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