Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) bragged at a recent senatorial debate that he had the full support of Ohio’s labor unions and law enforcement community.
But that may be a stretch.
Detective Steve Loomis, former president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, penned an op-ed in the Lima News calling out Brown for supporting policies that hurt unions. He writes:
Despite rising wages, long-term economic growth, and record low unemployment, union leadership 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.
Loomis sees it as a matter of image over reality. Image-wise, Brown is the star of the show. In reality, the rank and file union members know President Trump and Senate candidate Jim Renacci are actually working for their interests.
That’s because, for starters, all union members aren’t liberals.
It’s also become apparent that even many liberals are starting to question the direction of the Democratic Party. In other words, talk is cheap. What have unions done for rank and file workers over the last 25 years, as wages and benefits have long been in decline. Now, for the first time in as many years, they are starting to see a reversal of that trend under President Trump.
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.
All politics are local— except when it comes to union endorsements, Loomis explains.
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, Loomis says he’s witnessed the discrepancy between rank-and-file members and their leadership firsthand.
Loomis says he was leading the organization in 2016 when members overwhelmingly voted to become the first police union in the country to endorse Donald Trump.
The endorsement generated 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, he writes.
“Union leadership has become an arm of Democrat politicians, to the detriment of rank and file members and their families.”
All any union member has to do is look around and they will see the obvious difference in the economy since Trump policies on tax-cuts and deregulation started taking effect.
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, union leadership still clings to the very Democrats whose policies consistently destroyed union jobs for decades.”
Brown is one of them. He will proudly promote his long list of union endorsements 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,” Loomis writes.
“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, he concludes.
“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.”
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Anthony Accardi is a writer and reporter for The Ohio Star.