NOTE: This post has been updated HERE with photos of the protest against Trump and analysis of his comments while he was in Michigan.
All three Detroit autoworkers are busing UAW members in to Pr*sident Trump’s visit to Ypsilanti, Michigan later today and all but Ford are giving the workers food and are paying them for the privilege:
The Detroit Three are offering to bus workers from auto plants across southeast Michigan to President Donald Trump’s rally in Ypsilanti on Wednesday — a move that is drawing criticism from at least two union officials who say the president doesn’t really support American workers, and that they don’t want UAW members to become political props.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and General Motors told workers they will transport them to and from Trump’s rally, provide lunch and cover their pay for the day if they miss a shift at their plant. Ford will do the same, but will not cover their pay.
According to reports I’ve received, UAW members were encouraged to wear UAW apparel.
Here is a screenshot of the email Ford workers got from the FordPAC, a super PAC that supported Trump’s presidential candidacy, a candidacy that, apparently, has never actually ended:
At least one union local, UAW Local 372, is having none of it and circulated flyers around their workplace saying “TRUMP RALLY NOT ENDORSED BY THE UAW”. “I have been at Chrysler for 23 years, and I have never seen this kind of approach. We have never seen them go out of their way to pay people to go to a rally,” Local 373 President Gabe Solano told the Detroit Free Press. “I find it amusing that Trump’s camp always likes to say Democrats are paying people to attend rallies. It’s kind of ironic now that companies are paying people to attend Trump rallies.” Local 372 represents workers at Fiat Chrysler engine plant in southeastern Michigan. A full third of UAW members voted for Trump in the general election and their support is largely credited for his tiny margin of victory.
While he’s in Ypsilanti, Trump is expected to brag about how he’s working to roll back fuel efficiency standards, a move that, so far, the automakers have not publicly asked for. In fact, the federal requirements level the playing field for ALL automakers. It’s hard to see Trump doing the high profile announcement in Ypsilanti as anything but a monstrous “SCREW YOU” to the EPA employees working at the nearby National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor who have spent much of the last decade developing the standards in close partnership with the automakers. If the standards are rolled back, their work over the past years will end up as proverbial “government waste” with a single Executive Order from Trump.
For a thin-skinned, egomaniac like Trump, it’s completely unsurprising that he would bus in cheerleaders to stroke his huge ego and make it look like autoworkers adore him. The reality is quite different but the perception of reality is all that matters and Donald Trump is the master of shaping perception.
With any luck, some of the UAW workers will sneak in some anti-Trump signs and will make a fuss inside the event today.
A formal protest is being organized by Michigan to Believe In, a group that rose out of the presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders. For details about the protest, visit their website HERE. They are suggesting that people arrive at the Willow Run Airport no later than 12:45 p.m. As of this writing, over 400 people say they are going and another 1,600+ are “interested”.
*Donald Trump is the biggest loser of the popular vote ever to become President of the United States.
[Trump photo by Gage Skidmore | Flickr]