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UAW Delegates Feeling Unified on DNC Day 2: Blog


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2:30 PM — UAW President Dennis Williams Discusses Candidates, Conventions and Trade

UAW President Dennis Williams participated in a teleconference roundtable with reporters today to talk about the election and the UAW’s perspective on the issues at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Williams told reporters he is seeing more signs of people coming together to support Hillary Clinton among the supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“When you pour your blood and guts into something … and your candidate does not succeed, it’s disheartening.”

But Sanders’ speech last night, where he gave a clear and unequivocal call for his supporters to unify and get behind the Clinton campaign, is helping to unify Democrats against Donald Trump.

“I felt a sense of people coming together,” Williams said of the speech by the Vermont senator. “Even in our meetings today we see more and more people putting on Hillary buttons.”

Everyone understands the potential disaster a Trump presidency would bring.

As for our own members who are considering supporting Trump, Williams said the education our union is doing on trade and other issues is starting to change minds.

“They will recognize that Donald Trump is not a solution and Hillary Clinton is the better candidate.”

One reason is because Trump’s positions are long on promises and short on specifics. Trump claims he will repeal NAFTA but doesn’t say how.

“He never gets into how he’s going to fix something,” Williams said. “We know about Hillary Clinton. She has a visible track record. Donald Trump pulls out these statements and we have a hard time tracking what he says with any validity.”

Hillary Clinton has given commitments to re-examine NAFTA and redo many provisions concerning trade with Mexico, including the so-called company unions that do nothing to raise Mexican wages or lift its citizens out of poverty.

“She recognizes the fact it must be renegotiated,” he said. “She recognizes the flaws with the TPP.”

He contrasted the two conventions, saying he was shocked by the darkness that came out of the GOP’s gathering in Cleveland, Ohio, but has been impressed with the forward-looking, positive messages and excitement coming from Philadelphia.

“The First Lady gave one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard in my lifetime,” he said.

The labor movement is definitely pushing the agenda at the convention and is ready to work hard all the way up to Nov. 8 to elect the first woman president of the United States.

“I will tell you that the majority or unions, in fact all that I’ve spoken to, are unified in electing Hillary Clinton as president of the United States.”

10:30 AM — Dispatch from Michigan Delegation Breakfast

Members of the Michigan Democratic congressional delegation reacted to last night’s speeches with praise for First Lady Michele Obama, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and warnings on trade and the prospect of a Trump presidency.

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow said it’s important to regain control of the Senate so that Sen. Bernie Sanders can be named chairman or an influential Senate committee.

“We are so grateful for his leadership and his advocacy,” Michigan’s senior senator told the state delegation.

She also cautioned delegates that Donald Trump maybe be taking a populist tone on trade, but don’t be fooled.

“It’s not enough being a guy out there who’s a slick salesman,” she said. “You have to walk the walk. Donald Trump does not walk the walk.”

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters said that help for the city of Flint would be coming if Democrats controlled the Senate but the chamber’s GOP leadership refuses to call it for a vote.

“If we had the Senate, we would not be waiting for help for Flint,” Petes said. “Flint needs help and needs it now.”

U.S. Rep. Dale Kildee represents Flint in the House called what happened to Flint’s water supply a failure of those who believe in running government like a business like Gov. Rick Snyder and Donald Trump.

“I know elections have consequences. I’m a kid who grew up in Flint,” Kildee said, adding that the water catastrophes “absolutely breaks my heart.”

“We know what happened in Flint was a consequence of elections,” he said.

What happened in Flint was not an exception, but the norm when politicians like Snyder and Trump overlook the peoples’ interests in favor of their own.

“Anyone who ever feels that way even though you don’t live in Flint, in a way you live in Flint, too.”

U.S. Rep. Sander Levin provided a history lesson for the delegates. In 1968 U.S. Sen. Eugene McCarthy battled Vice President Hubert Humphrey for the Democratic nomination for president. Humphrey won the hotly contested nomination, but lost the presidency in part because many of McCarthy’s supporters stayed home on Election Day.

The result was the disastrous presidency of Richard Nixon.

“Donald Trump is Richard Nixon times 1,000,” Levin said. “I think the lessons of 1968 have real meaning for 2016.”


8:30 AM — UAW Members Talk Trump

Check out this look at UAW members talking about how they and their families respond when listening to Donald Trump speak about politics.

8:00 AM — UAW Members recap Day 1 at the Democratic National Convention

 Check out our Day 1 DNC Roundup Here

Distribution channels: Automotive Industry