Steve Loomis: Union workers can decide for themselves the best course for Ohio’s future

Labor’s leadership doesn’t speak for working man

Steve Loomis - Guest Column

All politics are local — except when it comes to union endorsements.

Local unions play a pivotal role in our communities, protecting workers such as police officers, trade workers, and steel mill workers. But our voices are sometimes silenced by union leadership on the state, national, and even international levels. These so-called labor leaders dictate political endorsements to local chapters and discourage any member or local from questioning them.

As the immediate past president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, I’ve witnessed the discrepancy between the rank and file and their leadership firsthand.

I was leading the organization in 2016 when our members overwhelmingly voted to become the first police union in the country to endorse Donald Trump. The endorsement garnered national attention, not only because we were the first local police union to support candidate Trump, but also because our union had done something rare for any union — we endorsed the best candidate instead of automatically endorsing the Democrat in the race.

That’s because, unfortunately, union leaders are no longer nonpartisan figures who care only about protecting the best interests of their workers. Union leadership has become an arm of Democrat politicians, to the detriment of rank and file members and their families.

There are more jobs available today across the country than there are workers to fill them, thanks in large part to President Trump’s tax cuts and his renegotiation of terrible trade agreements. But despite rising wages, long term economic growth, and record low unemployment, unionleadership still clings to the very Democrats whose policies consistently destroyed union jobs for decades. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown is one of them.

At the same time, the vast majority of rank and file union members see things differently. They know that President Trump has done more for union workers than the unions that are supposed to be looking out for workers.

Unfortunately, it’s been no surprise to me that unions are “endorsing” Senator Brown, despite his shortcomings. That’s what state and national unions force local unions to do, regardless of the will of the rank and file.

No matter how detrimental Democrats are for the workers they claim to represent, union leadership is so wedded to the Democrat Party that it turns a blind eye to the harm Democrat leaders such as Sherrod Brown inflict on Ohio union workers. But here is the little secret that no unionleader wants you to know: most of their rank-and-file members are never going to vote for Sherrod Brown.

They are never going to vote for a guy who insists that “There is no war on coal. Period.” They are never going to vote for a guy who champions fringe environmental policies over protecting Ohio workers. Nor will they vote for a guy who cares more about supporting sanctuary cities and open borders than protecting Ohio families.

And they are never going to vote for a guy who refuses to work with a president that continues to make life better for all workers and Ohioans.

Ohio’s rank and file union workers are excited about the opportunities that President Trump and his allies are offering to them and their families. That’s why they enthusiastically support Jim Renacci — and will turn out to vote for him on November 6th.

Senator Brown will, of course, proudly promote all of the union endorsements he racks up during his campaign as proof of the support of Ohio workers. But he should know that rank-and-file union members and their families see directly through his false camaraderie. Unlike their bosses, union members actually like and support the direction that President Trump is taking the country.

Just as we saw after Donald Trump’s historic win in 2016, we’ll see post-election stories asking how union-backed Sherrod Brown lost so many union strongholds across the state.

The answer will be simple. The unions backing Sherrod Brown don’t actually speak for many of the local union workers here in Ohio. Their endorsements are merely empty PR stunts that do nothing to convince rank-and-file union members to vote for an out-of-touch, liberal career politician.

Don’t mistake union leaders for union members in Ohio politics, like Sherrod Brown will. You’re either with us or against us, and we know where he stands
Labor’s leadership doesn’t speak for working man

Steve Loomis

Guest Column

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