Tag Archives: trump

Trump Appoints Republican Lawyer to NLRB

President Donald Trump has appointed attorney Marvin Kaplan to fill one of two vacant seats on the National Labor Relations Board. A Republican, Kaplan is currently counsel for the federal Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. This appointment will end the board’s 2-1 pro-union, Democratic majority, though a full Senate vote may not happen until fall. Trump is also expected to appoint management-side lawyer William J. Emmanuel to fill the fifth seat, which would give Republicans the majority on the NLRB for the first time since 2007. If that happens, it is likely that many pro-union rulings made during the Obama administration would be reversed.


Trump Administration

What the Trump Administration Means for Musicians

by John Acosta, AFM International Executive Board Member and President of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA)

With many voters, pundits, and pollsters still recovering from the unexpected results of our last presidential election, I find that it is critical for us to focus on what this means for our union and how it may impact our members. There is no doubt in my mind that the focus by the trump administration to gut the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare) will leave many musicians exposed to the whims of an avaricious health care industry and without the safety net provided by the ACA.

While the ACA was far from perfect, it did expand health care coverage for millions of Americans who would not otherwise be covered. In California, we are not taking the attacks on the ACA lightly. AFM locals in California are working with labor and community coalitions to not only protect our health care—but to go one step further—by expanding health care into a single-payer model or universal health care, much like we find in most of the first world.

With a new administration in Washington, DC, we can also expect attacks on labor itself with a less friendly, if not overtly hostile, National Labor Relations Board and legislation that seeks to gut a union’s ability to collect dues by enacting a national “right to work” law.

Now, you may ask, how does this affect me? Well, if you’re in a symphony, you may see more aggressive acts by management to violate your CBA. If members of your symphony orchestra are no longer required to pay their dues, you will have a less effective union with a weakened ability to represent you at the bargaining table or in grievance and arbitration proceedings. Recording musicians may see employers reinterpreting the agreements under which you work and dispensing with age-old practices that were unwritten but accepted industry wide.

Now don’t get me wrong, we should approach the new administration in Washington, DC, to find common ground. President Trump has stated that he wants to help American workers keep their jobs in the US. This is a concept we can get behind. We have already begun discussions about how we can best support this initiative as it relates to runaway scoring and recording.

The idea of placing tariffs on intellectual property produced outside of the US, making it less desirable for companies to outsource musician jobs, is something we hope to urge the administration to incorporate into Trump’s job creation program. Whether we will be received positively by the Trump Administration is still an open question, and whether there is enough common ground to make the next four years productive is yet to be seen.

As our former President Obama stated in the waning days of his presidency, “The best days are still ahead.” I believe this. We must continue to organize internally and externally, while we remain vigilant in the fight for better wages, working conditions, and dignity on the job.

AFL-CIO Calls Trump’s Economic Speech Ironic and Deceitful

Following Donald Trump’s Michigan speech detailing his long-awaited economic plan, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued the following statement:

“Donald Trump has spent his life getting rich by hurting working people. Now he returns to Michigan for an economic speech almost one year to the day after he suggested automakers move production from Michigan to states with lower wages. It’s ironic, deceitful, and offensive.

“Donald Trump will say he speaks for all Americans, but his all white, all male, Wall Street banker economic team proves his intentions. Trump has chosen to get his real advice from people just like him—people who have made millions off the backs of hardworking families.

Trump Taj Mahal to Close after Labor Day

Trump Taj Mahal, the beleaguered Atlantic City, New Jersey, hotel-casino once owned by GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, will close for good after Labor Day weekend. The Taj Mahal’s owners—including billionaire investor Carl Icahn—blame striking UNITE HERE Local 54 workers for preventing a “path to profitability.” WARN Act (layoff) notices were sent to the casino’s more than 2,400 workers announcing they would lose their jobs October 10. The Taj would be the city’s fifth casino to close since 2014.

A thousand of the casino’s service workers have been on strike since July 1. According to Local 54 President Bob McDevitt, “For a few million bucks, [Icahn] could have had labor peace and a content workforce, but instead he’d rather slam the door shut on these long-term workers just to punish them and attempt to break their strike.”

In a statement, McDevitt called out Icahn for his promise to put $100 million into the Trump Taj Mahal. “He told the workers they were the most important asset of the property. Now, rather than negotiate with those same workers, he decided he would rather close down. We have not had an offer from Icahn since the evening of June 30, when workers rejected that proposal and voted to strike. It has been nothing but the usual my way or the highway from Carl Icahn. That’s not trying to reach an agreement; that’s punishing working people for standing up to injustice.

Culinary Union Triumphs over Trump

The Culinary Workers (Local 226) and Bartenders (Local 165), Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, have been certified as the legal collective bargaining representatives of more than 500 workers at the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, the union announced this month.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office overruled the hotel’s objections to an election last December in which the workers voted for the two unions. Trump Las Vegas, co-owned by Donald Trump, has indicated it plans to appeal the decision to the NLRB’s national office in Washington, DC. According to a statement by UNITE HERE, “The company has driven an aggressive anti-union campaign since workers began organizing at his property in 2014.” The unions are now seeking contracts for all employees in housekeeping, food and beverage, pool, and guest services at the hotel.  

Latin Grammy Leader Addresses Trump’s Comments

Following multiple Latino musicians who have spoken out against presidential candidate Donald Trump’s anti-Latino statements, Latin Recording Academy CEO Gabriel Abaroa Jr. issued a statement condemning the presidential candidate’s attacks on the Latino population. “Whether you’re talking about Mexico, South America, Central America, Spain, or Portugal, Latin culture has been so beautifully intertwined into American culture that it is almost imperceptible to recognize the benefits of that integration,” said Abaroa. “Nonetheless, we should not take for granted the countless contributions Latinos make to American culture. Given his recent statements, Mr. Trump needs a respectful reminder of that fact. This denial of Latino contributions and the division it will create cannot be tolerated, and we appeal to Mr. Trump to discontinue his affront on the millions of Latinos who have helped make America the great nation it is. Just as music brings people together, so, too, should those who aim to lead us.”