[Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr]
By: Claude Cummings
As this is being written, I have proudly represented Communications Workers of America’s members during the 52nd Annual Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Legislative Conference. Since its inception, the CBC has passionately supported the interests of the Blacks community and worked to ensure that we have an equal voice in public policy. And its members, currently all Democrats, have been equally powerful allies of labor unions as vehicles of racial justice.
At the same time, I was deeply disappointed to learn of the actions of two other high-pro le black elected officials: U.S. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, a Republican, and Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, a former Democrat. I have characterized their bad behavior, respectively, as Disrespect and Deception. Let’s start with the “Disrespect” that Tim Scott exhibited toward members of the United Auto Workers. Scott, one of two Black Senators and the only Republican, is now a low-polling challenger to frontrunner Donald Trump for his party’s presidential nomination.
When asked to comment on the UAW strike, he responded: “You strike, you’re red!” He went on to cite Ronald Reagan’s controversial ring of striking air traffic controllers back in 1981. In his decision, Reagan invoked a law prohibiting strikes by federal employees. Well, Mr. Scott, the UAW strikers, led by President Shawn Fain, are not subject to that law. Their right to strike is protected by the National Labor Relations Act. They are hard-working people who made great concessions almost 15 years ago to help save the American auto industry and keep family-supporting jobs in their communities.
Their sacrifices brought the industry back with record breaking profits that largely supported very generous salaries and bonuses for their bosses and huge returns for Wall Street investors. But the workers’ well-deserved demands to restore their benefits and wages and ensure equal pay for equal work went unmet for years. That’s why I’ll be on the UAW picket line in Detroit on Tuesday when Joe Biden becomes the first American president to join striking workers on the line. Yes, Joe not only talks the talk but walks the walk of a real “union guy.” And we must return that loyalty in the 2024 election.
Now to the blatant “Deception” of Dallas mayor Eric Johnson, who recently switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.
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